Three Days: A Mother’s Story

Written by Melody Carlson
Review by Nancy Castaldo

Melody Carlson has taken up the difficult task of telling the story of Jesus through the eyes of his mother, Mary, during the three days following her son’s crucifixion. In this fictionalized tale, readers see Mary’s love, faith, worry, and despair, and eventually her hope through a series of flashbacks that bring the reader into Mary’s world. Carlson begins by painting a picture of Mary as a young teen visited by the angel Gabriel. We see Mary wondering about the possibility of carrying a child, about her future, and her bewilderment at her circumstance. Carlson gives the character of Mary depth when we see how she must face her family with her news. I would have liked Carlson to follow through with more of Mary’s emotions in the subsequent pages to further the character’s development. She does little to go beyond the stories of the Gospel in her telling, missing the opportunity to bring out the sights, smells, and tastes of this biblical period. As in the Gospels, Carlson also leaves out the years of Jesus between the ages of twelve and thirty.

Those unfamiliar with the Gospels will find this book a wonderful introduction to the story of Mary and her faith. Three Days is a perfect accompaniment to a Bible study class and can open the door to a great discussion of faith and Christian doctrine.