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  • Published: New York : Scribner, 2012.
  • Year Published: 2012
  • Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed.
  • Description: 81 p.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 1451688385

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The testament of Mary

by Tóibín, Colm, 1955-

There are currently 3 available

Where To Find It

Call number: Fiction

Available Copies: Malletts Adult, Pittsfield Adult, Traverwood Adult

Additional Details

A provocative imagining of the later years of the mother of Jesus finds her living a solitary existence in Ephesus years after her son's crucifixion and struggling with guilt, anger, and feelings that her son is not the son of God and that His sacrifice was not for a worthy cause.

Community Reviews

I could believe in this Mary

There had been some pretty hard reading leading up to the long weekend trip up the coast to celebrate Christmas. Approaching the end of the year I was a bit worried I wouldn’t have 10 outstanding books to put on my “top ten of 2012″ list. But as seems somewhat appropriate, this slim piece of fiction about Jesus’s mother, read on Christmas Eve morning, restored my feelings of hope and goodwill. Curled up with a dog on my lap, feet on the heater, sitting at the big picture window watching the grey skies over the Pacific, I was comforted by both Mary’s deeply human story and Tóibín’s graceful storytelling.

Years after Jesus’s death, the writers of the gospels continue to support her in Ephesus. She lives alone, seeking mainly to be left alone by these men, followers of her son, who press her to join them in telling the story of Jesus Christ. But in Tóibín’s story, Mary is not a true believer in her son as the son of God. She does not fit in with his disciples or the early Christians that gathered around her son. She is ruthless is judging them, and in judging herself and her actions as a mother. This is not an easy book, nor is it even a simple book. For those of us who have heard Mary’s story from so many other writers, it was hard not to be attracted to Tóibín’s self-told tale of Mary the woman. Not docile, not peaceful, not graceful, she was so much more like the real women I know who struggle against the society and circumstances in which they live. I could believe in this Mary, conflicted and overwrought, like a real mother, not the fantasy so many seek in her.

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