Slashing divine inspiration

In The Language of Bees, Mary Russell first meets the Reverend Thomas Brothers through his work of inspiration, which he calls Testimony.

Testimony is his Bible, the holy writ that his congregation reads in their services, and describes how he came to know Divine Will.

During the rewrite process of The Language of Bees, most of Testimony was taken out, when it became increasingly difficult to maintain the flow of the plot around large chunks of religious text. What remained was in the form of chapter headers and phrases here and there, however, I thought Testimony was worth preserving.

I would like to talk more about Testimony in the future, but as a means of tantalizing those of you for whom religious writing is to be sought out, rather than skipped over, Testimony debuts today, in all its pompous, windbaggy, deliciously creepy, and clue-rich glory, as a download on the Language of Bees page.

Thanks to my brother in law, to whom the book itself is dedicated, for enhancing Testimony’s appearance. And if you want to print it off and bring it to one of my events, I’ll even sign it for you.


  1. Canzonett on April 24, 2009 at 8:23 am

    Ooohhh … Religious texts in Russell’s world = “yippie!” for me. Of course I’ll read this – immediately!

  2. Kerry on April 24, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Wow – I’ve read the first book, and it’s very, very cool. I look forward to hearing more about it. And perhaps a separate discussion thread on the VBC??

  3. strawberry curls on April 24, 2009 at 11:29 am

    This is so beautifully presented I really want to print it out, but, my office printer will not cooperate. My home printer most definitely can’t handle it so I’m going to have to put on my thinking cap to come up with a way to print this out.

    I believe you said on Facebook, Laurie, that your brother-in-law did this for you. Kudos to him for the presentation and to you for writing it.

    –Alice **who is mumbling about the vagaries of printers**

  4. strawberry curls on April 24, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Many hours and some rather shocking invectives later I am happy to report I have beaten my computer and my printer into submission and forced it to spit out the 30 pages of “Testimony.” Yes!!! Success is so sweet when you triumph over technology, well, at least it is to me.

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Laurie.


  5. Meredith T. on April 24, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    It took me the third reread of MREG and the religious writing became very interesting indeed. I’ll have a go at printing, but live in fear due to antique printer. We shall see. Massed verbiage plus creepy plus clues, how can one resist?//Meredith

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