I took some time to truly think about what I wanted to say about this book. This is difficult. To be honest, I bought the audio version solely on a whim and because I adore Meryl Streep. I thought, “Well, anyone who was able to get her to narrate a book . . . well, this must be astounding!’
However, I must admit there was several times I almost stopped listening, not because of the narration (which was perfection), but for the storyline. While I must give kudos to Colm Toibin’s originality, I have to say that I was quite taken back by portraying Mary as a cynic who often time appears not to have a clue what is going on with her son. While true, many of his family did not accept him as the Messiah, Mary was not one of those. In reality, she “kept all these sayings in her heart” KNOWING who he was, and BELIEVING in him. Mr Toibin’s writing style is unique, told in a continuous breath of Mary’s thoughts, and was sometimes confusing and tiresome. From a historical POV, perhaps this might be referred to as alternative history, at least in my opinion. I did not enjoy it, save for the exquisite voice of Meryl Streep.