The Child Madonna, by David Maidment

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Set in Galilee and Judea near the end of the first century BC, The Child Madonna is an imaginative take on the story of the Virgin Mary. Told initially through the ‘messenger’ who tests Mary to see if she has the character and courage to be chosen for her destiny, the story then progresses through the 13 year old Mary’s own eyes, recounts the obstacles and abuses she suffered as she took the risk and obeyed her call, becoming pregnant in a society where the rigid code she defied would have made her very vulnerable.

The story takes key points of the biblical account but places it within an authentic texture and gives it a narrative urgency against a background of political turmoil and nationalist attacks on the Roman occupiers and Jewish collaborators with the foreign power. It recounts the opposition from her bigoted Pharisee uncle, the doubts of her betrothed Joseph and the efforts of her mother and younger siblings to protect and support her.

The story raises issues that still reverberate among some religious conservative societies today where girls and young women are at risk for daring to be different.

The hardback book can by purchased direct from the author, David Maidment, 32 The Broadway, Nantwich CW5 6JH, £10 including packaging and posting.

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