Colm Toibin – The Testament of Mary

Lady Fancifull

On the cross of belief and unbelief

I found this a profound and unsettling read, which I am very ambivalent towards.

It is BECAUSE of the ambivalence, not despite the ambivalence, that I recommend it 4251241613_a07b952341_zunreservedly, as it does what the best literature does, challenges and at times unsettles the reader, forcing them to think, question, re-evaluate, or even if just in a small way, look at something freshly, as if for the first time.

399px-Defendente_Ferrari_-_Madonna_and_Child_-_WGA7811Here, Toibin looks at Christ, and some of the later events of his life, but through the eyes of his mother. Toibin’s Mary is far from the Gospel depictions. She is a very human, pragmatic, strong and self-reflective woman, and the thrust of Toibin’s viewpoint is that the reality, and the story told in the Gospels, is markedly different. In a sense, he suggests it is all ‘spin’ with the Gospellers, for their own reasons…

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