Customer Review

68 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh...', 19 Oct 2012
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This review is from: The Testament of Mary (Hardcover)
This short novella is an amazingly powerful account of a mother's love and grief for her son. The fact that that son happens to be, perhaps, the Son of God is secondary. Beautifully written and with some wonderful, often poetic, imagery, Tóibín shows us Mary as a woman who lives each day with guilt and pain that she couldn't stop the events that led her son to the cruel martyrdom of the cross.

As Jesus' followers encourage her to embellish her story to tie in with the legend they are beginning to create, Mary feels that she must tell, even if only once, the true story of her involvement in these momentous events. We see her cynicism and doubt about the miracles attributed to her son; her dislike, contempt even, for those followers who seem intent on feeding his ego, who seem to be provoking his martyrdom to serve their own ends. And most of all we come to understand and almost to share her guilt and fear.

Emotional, thought-provoking, at points harrowing, this book packs more punch in its 104 pages than most full-length novels. Its very shortness emphasises Mary's driven urgency to tell her tale before her chance is gone. Despite the subject matter, it will appeal to lovers of great writing of any faith or none - this story is first and foremost about humanity. Highly recommended.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Oct 2012 12:00:11 BDT
Thanks FF - this does look most remarkably like the sort of thing I'm going to gobble up and then be urgently scouring the back catalogue for more. Many boxes ticked - Irish writing - subject matter, thought provoking, emotional, great writing - and that magical s word - SHORT. I seem to have embarked on too many books recently where I wanted to red pen a load of padding which added nothing!

Now ordered, but will have to wait till the release date

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Oct 2012 13:26:03 BDT
FictionFan says:
Odd that the Kindle version isn't out yet - my hardback copy arrived last week. I'm sure (well, fairly sure!) you'll love this...
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FictionFan
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Location: Kirkintilloch, Scotland

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