This novella or prose poem, approximately one hundred pages, is extremely beautiful. Written from the perspective of Mary, it gives what I can imagine could be a very real and emotional picture of her as a woman coping with the loss of her son. I found it interesting that the writer, a man, was able to break into the psyche of a woman and describe it so well. Although linking in biblical references, TheTestament of Mary runs parallel and, at times, even at a tangent, to what is assumed and believed. Colm Tóibín has succeeded in making Mary more human and, in doing so, he has put her suffering, and even the suffering of her son, in a completely different perspective. It is the ordinariness of them both that shines through and it is just this ordinariness that makes the suffering that much more poignant. Beautifully written, The Testament of Mary is definitely worth reading.
Photo of Colm Tóibín www.telegraph.co.uk