Colm Tóibín is one of our finest writers. With The Testament of Mary, he has created a masterpiece in which he tells of the aftermath of Jesus’ crucifixion. In the ancient town of Ephesus, Mary lives alone, years after the loss of her son. Living in exile and in fear, she tries to piece together the memories of the events that led to her son’s brutal death. To her, he was a vulnerable figure surrounded by men who could not be trusted, living in a time of turmoil and change. As her life and her suffering begin to acquire the resonance of myth, Mary struggles to break the silence surrounding what she knows happened. In her effort to tell the truth in all its gnarled complexity, she slowly emerges as a figure of immense moral stature as well as a fully realised human being. The Testament of Mary is a tour de force of the imagination by a writer at the height of his powers.