This book has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013, which I was really pleased about and not a little bit surprised.
This is only a short little book but it is so good! It is the story the events that lead to the end of Jesus’ life, but told from the perspective of his mother, Mary. Tóibín does a flawless job of getting inside the mindset of a mother, and this is such an interesting take on probably the most famous story that everyone knows. It’s heart-felt and engaging, completely powerful and it has such a great sense of realness.
If you are in a book club this is a perfect pick because there is so much to talk about – I was looking around for people to talk about it with when I finished it and I think discussion would easily flow. It has huge scope and showcases Tóibín’s brilliant writing style.
Back blurb time:
“From the author of Brooklyn, 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 events 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.”