The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin

The Testament of Mary

Colm Toibin

Here is a challenge to the generally accepted view of Mary the mother of Jesus. Some will find it shocking, others refreshing. Though not what her minders want to hear, Mary tells her own story and that of her son in a short powerful narrative, intense and compelling. I was deeply moved, even more so as the mother of a son. I was also prompted to think about truth - is my truth your fiction?


I have dreamed this. And there are times when I have let the dream into the day to live with me, when I have sat in that chair and felt that I was holding him, his body all cleansed of pain and myself too cleansed of the pain that I felt, which was part of his pain, the pain we shared.
All of this is easy to imagine. It is what really happened that is unimaginable, and it is what really happened that I must face now in these months before I go into my grave or else everything that happened will become a sweet story that will grow poisonous as bright berries that hang low on trees.

  • Mothers and Sons by Colm Toibin
  • The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman

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