Despite reading being one of my favourite past times, I pay little blog attention to the books I have the pleasure of reading. And although I recently wrote a post about my books wishlist, I haven’t actually reviewed any of the incredible work from it.
So from this post onwards I will be including little reviews of the books I tick off my list. And whilst my book shelf groans more and more by the day (I can’t go a week without buying at least three new additions) I hope I can bring a little bit of magic into your life by potentially introducing you to these inspiring titles.
This weekend I finished The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin. I’d seen the novella on the Huffington Post top 30 books to read before you’re 30 and knew it had to go on the list. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013 the book’s kind of a big deal. I was excited to see if it lived up to expectations.
Honestly, the book was an absolute delight to read. I finished it in a day; it drew me in from the first page. The novella follows the life of the Virgin Mary, a Mother whose son has been lost to the cruel dark world. But don’t think that this book is full of religious imagery; that really wouldn’t be my type of thing. No, it is simply a poignant portrayal of a Mother’s mourning. The pages are full of mystery and unsolved questions, delicately touching on the story of Christ without overwhelming the reader with religious connotations. In fact, not once is the word “Jesus” used.
Crossing between a present day aged Mary as she lives in exile and then back to Mary as she documents her son’s descent into execution, the story is raw, touching and thought-provoking. It challenges your expectations, casting the Son of God in a naive, at times disconnected light. As the story culminates with the crucifixion the plot deepens; these moments are particularly powerful, touching on disturbing.
The Testament of Mary was a moving, deliciously intelligent read. It is one of those books I would happily read again and again, picking up further hidden threads with every turn of the page. A combination of political messages and heart-rendering emotional battles, it is no wonder the book has made such a monumental impact.