The Testament of Mary

Version: Unabridged
Author: Colm Toibin
Narrator: Meryl Streep
Genres: Religion & Spirituality
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Published In: September 2013
# of Units: 3 CDs
Length: 3 hours
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2014 Audie Award Finalist for Audiobook of the Year, Literary Fiction, and Solo Narration—Female!

“Tóibín is at his lyrical best in this beautiful and daring work” (The New York Times Book Review) that portrays Mary as a solitary older woman still seeking to understand the events that become the narrative of the New Testament and the foundation of Christianity—shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize.

In the ancient town of Ephesus, Mary lives alone, years after her son’s crucifixion. She has no interest in collaborating with the authors of the Gospel, who are her keepers. She does not agree that her son is the Son of God; nor that his death was “worth it”; nor that the “group of misfits he gathered around him, men who could not look a woman in the eye,” were holy disciples.

Mary judges herself ruthlessly (she did not stay at the foot of the cross until her son died—she fled, to save herself), and her judgment of others is equally harsh. This woman whom we know from centuries of paintings and scripture as the docile, loving, silent, long-suffering, obedient, worshipful mother of Christ becomes a tragic heroine with the relentless eloquence of Electra or Medea or Antigone. Tóibín’s tour de force of imagination and language is a portrait so vivid and convincing that our image of Mary will be forever transformed.

Reviews (2)

Written by Ruth M on April 16th, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I am a devotee of Mary. As the book unfolded, l became more and more caught up in the "might have been " aspect of this story. I certainly cannot explain my reaction to this unorthodox interpretation of Mary and her Holy Week experiences, but somehow l found my faith strengthened.

Written by M K on October 2nd, 2013

  • Book Rating: 4/5

A whole new perspective on Mary and the events surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus. This is a fascinating and expertly written novel, but Meryl Streep's narration takes it to a whole new level. She's one of the best narrators I've ever heard.

Author Details

Author Details

Toibin, Colm

Colm Toibin is the author of four previous novels, "The South, The Heather Blazing, The Story of the Night, "and "The Blackwater Lightship, " which was shortlisted for the 1999 Booker Prize. He lives in Dublin.