The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin is a hauntingly beautiful novel. Toibin’s graceful prose humanizes Mary. As readers, we feel her helplessness in the face of the inevitability of unfolding events, as well as her anguish at watching her son die so horrifically. She is brutally honest with herself and with the men who would endeavour to retell her and her son’s story in the way that suits them and their cause. The novel will probably not make the reading list at the Vatican, but never again will I look at the iconographic portraits of Mary and not think of this novel. Highly recommended.