At 104 pages, The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin, seems too slight to do justice to the enormity of its subject. Yet emotion vibrates from the pages with such intensity that the book’s impact lingers long after you have finished. Based on Toibin’s stage play, Testament, it reveals the tangle of emotions overwhelming Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, in the period leading up to and directly following her son’s death.
It peels away the religious dogma and leaves the anger, frustration and terrible loss of a loving mother who could not protect her son from a looming danger to which she had become increasingly alert. Compounding this is her shame that