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The Testament of Mariam

4.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  14 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Who is Mariam? Her family in Roman Gaul know her only as a refugee from far-off Judah, without other relatives or friends. For more than thirty years Mariam has herself turned her back on the past, but now a series of events forces her to confront it. In her final illness, that past begins to haunt her, as she looks back on a youth and early adulthood during the turbulent ...more
Paperback, First, 322 pages
Published November 9th 2009
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Jane Greensmith
Nov 03, 2013 Jane Greensmith rated it it was amazing
This is easily one of the best books I've read in 2013. It is the story of Jesus as told by his sister, Mariam. It is one of those historical novels that absolutely feels right--the tone, the level of detail, the dialogue, the themes, and the perspectives all ring true. I loved reading about the life in a Jewish village in Gallilee, circa 2000 years ago. And the story was fresh and interesting, being told from a woman's perspective and a sibling's perspective.

Yeshûa is the oldest in a large fami
Jun 18, 2014 Tinney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This beautifully written book drew me in immediately. Hard as it must be to tell such a powerful and well-known story in a way that feels genuinely fresh, the author has done it. The Testament of Mariam has a strong sense of place and time, but it never drowns the reader in the research. Rather, each detail is deftly chosen, elegantly conveying what the author wants to say. The voice is musical and lyrical. This is a story that will stay with the reader. I expect to revisit it, and share it with ...more
Carol Patterson
Feb 13, 2014 Carol Patterson rated it it was amazing
The Testament of Mariam by Ann Swinfen is a brilliantly imagined first person account of New Testament events in which the narrator offers a uniquely loving eye-witness view of familiar biblical events as they unfold. Mariam's "testament" comes from the perspective of unwavering love forged in childhood--a love of such depth and power in the telling that her words and thoughts are not only moving but very credible.
Carefully researched details of time, place, culture, and daily life are fascinat
Maria Grazia
Jan 22, 2011 Maria Grazia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011
This book is both very gripping and moving, both very familiar and extremely new, both poetic and definitely credible. Ann Swinfen was very brave at making up her mind to write Yeshua's story from a new point of view. Yeshua (Jesus) is a very human figure, a young man who deeply changed the world, a rebel, a dreamer, whose revolutionary message started a new era for mankind.

Yeshua's compelling story is told from his sister's point of view, Mariam. Her first-person account turns the New Testamen
Simon Turney
Jan 28, 2015 Simon Turney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’d been intrigued by this book for some time. I had spoken to Ann via social media, where I had been introduced to her by a friend, and of the numerous books Ann has released, this one particularly piqued my interest early on. And so I bought it and added it to my reading list, awaiting the time when I had a free week or so in my reading schedule.

The story? The story is simple. When the Emperor Constantine and his various bishops sat in their council chamber and decided what stories of the Chri
Karen Charlton
Jun 19, 2014 Karen Charlton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘The Testament of Mariam’ is a fascinating and very clever novel which would appeal both those who follow Christianity and those who don’t. This is a superb historical novel which successfully transports us to life in First Century Galilee and Gaul. Dusty, sun-baked and oppressed to different degrees by the Romans, the landscape of the Swinfen’s novel is a character in its own right. Told from the point of view of Mariam, the elderly - and now dying - sister of Jesus, this imaginative and quiet ...more
R.J. Lynch
Jul 08, 2014 R.J. Lynch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I finished The Testament of Mariam two weeks ago and I can't get it out of my mind--I think at some level it will always be there. It's extremely good just as a piece of writing, but it is as an alternative view of a history we all think we know well that it really shines. Ann Swinfen has written the story of Jesus's life from the point of view of his sister Mariam who, in this version (and who are we to know differently?) was with him and with Judas all through the period from when he left home ...more
Jul 01, 2011 Denna rated it it was amazing
Fantastic novel. Loved every page. I'll be putting up my review soon.
C.P. Lesley
In a town in eastern Gallia, circa 65 AD, an old woman learns that she has lost the last of her siblings, a man she has not seen for thirty years. The news propels her back into memories of her past as Mariam, the rebellious young daughter of a carpenter in Galilee and her experiences with her family, including her oldest brother, Yeshûa—the New Testament’s Jesus of Nazareth.

Yeshûa struggles to find his place and his mission in Roman-occupied Judah, a hotbed of unrest where Galileans are especi
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Ann Swinfen
Oct 04, 2014 Ann Swinfen rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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Goodreads Librari...: Change of cover 9 24 May 26, 2014 01:47PM  
Ann Swinfen spent her childhood partly in England and partly on the east coast of America. She read Classics and Mathematics at Oxford, where she married a fellow undergraduate, the historian David Swinfen. While bringing up their five children and studying for an MSc in Mathematics and a BA and PhD in English Literature, she had a variety of jobs, including university lecturer, translator, freela ...more
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