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The testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín
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The testament of Mary (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Colm Tóibín

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7908111,626 (3.61)1 / 202
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Title:The testament of Mary
Authors:Colm Tóibín
Info:New York : Scribner, 2012.
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Fiction, Christianity, Inscriptions/Dedications

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The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín (2012)

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English (75)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (2)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (81)
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
This author is definitely not for me! I didn't like Brooklyn much but this book is way different and I kept losing what I was reading. I give up. ( )
  PallaviSharma | May 9, 2016 |
I read this on Easter, an appropriate day for perhaps an annual reading, since it's only 81 pages. Mary, the mother of Jesus, old and wary, is living in the care of some of the gospel writers, who urge her to tell the crucifixion story the way they want to hear it, but Mary will tell only the truth. In her account the pieta never happened, and the resurrection was a common dream held by Mary and Mary Magdalene. The voice is sorrowful, lyrical, tired, forceful, resigned. ( )
  deckla | Apr 5, 2016 |
Looked forward to this telling of Jesus' story from Mary's point of view, and so disappointed.

Long ago, maybe in the 70s, there was a kind of cheesy made-for-TV movie, Jesus of Nazareth, in which Robert Powell played Jesus and Olivia Hussey played Mary. One scene was unforgettable, when Mary sees her son on the cross. That scene said far more to me about a mother's pain and the crimes committed in the name of the gods than this book.
  seschanfield | Mar 7, 2016 |
4.5 stars
Meryl Streep did a tremendous job narrating as Mary in this historical fiction account of Mary as a widow recounting the stories of her son's life. This Mary does not believe her son is the son of God and, although the apostles are caring for her does not like them at all.

It is generally the story of a mother baffled by what her son gets into and the strange company he keeps. She shares her reminisces as she shares her grief for her son's death.

Truly excellent but impossible for me to separate out how much is attributed to the brilliant Meryl Streep and how much to the text. ( )
  nospi | Feb 7, 2016 |
A gripping, understated, provocative story of Mary, the mother of Jesus, as Mary herself may have told it. Toibin brings a great humanity to the story, and our frailty takes on a strength of its own. Mary's voice is haunting, unwavering--I expect it to stay with me for a long time. This book gives me a fresh perspective on the old, old story. Merry Christmas, indeed. ( )
  bibleblaster | Jan 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
Colm Tóibín's mothers don't always behave as they should; they are often unpredictable, occasionally downright troublesome, prone to gusts of passion or rage or – worse – unnatural indifference. Rarely are they uncomplicated figures of placid, nurturing devotion; but they do make for fantastically involving fiction. In his 2006 short-story collection, Mothers and Sons, Tóibín brought us relationships that were often characterised by the way they inverted traditional roles. An entrepreneurial widow plots to escape to the anonymity of the big city, clashing with her son's determination to hold fast to their small-town life; another man slinks away from a crowded pub rather than be spotted by the celebrated mother who has absented herself from his life; in "A Long Winter", a magnificent extended piece set in rural Spain, a young man is forced to keep house ineptly for his father after his alcoholic mother walks out into a snowstorm rather than be deprived of drink.....
added by marq | editThe Guardian, Alex Clark (Oct 26, 2012)
 
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Loughlin Deegan and Denis Looby
First words
They appear more often now, both of them, and on every visit they seem more impatient with me and with the world.
Quotations
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
"Originally published in 2012 in Great Britain by Viking Penguin." T.p. verso
"Some of this novel was used as the basis for the play "Testament," performed at the Dublin Theatre Festival in October 2011." T.p. verso
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Book description
In a voice that is both tender and filled with rage, The Testament of Mary tells the story of a cataclysmic event which led to an overpowering grief. For Mary, her son has been lost to the world, and now, living in exile and in fear, she tries to piece together the memories of the event that led to her son's brutal death. To her he was a vulnerable figure, surrounded by men who could not be trusted, living in a time of turmoil and change.

As her life and her suffering begin to acquire the resonance of myth. Mary struggles to break the silence surrounding what she knows to have happened. In her effort to tell the truth in all its gnarled complexity, she slowly emerges as a figure of immense moral stature as well as a woman from history rendered now as fully human.
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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.… (more)

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