Virgin & Child

By Maggie Hamand

Category: Fiction, LGBT+, Women's

Formats available: Hardback, Paperback, Ebook

Pages: 280

Publication date: 02/04/20

ISBN-13: 9781909954342

ISBN-10: 1909954349

MORNING STAR, BOOK OF THE YEAR 2020 – now available in paperback!


Patrick, the first Irish Pope, is sure of many things: his faith, the sanctity of life, that he is a man, that he is celibate. Then all he’s held true is cast into doubt.

How can Patrick act as the moral heart of the church when his convictions falter and his secrets threaten to destroy all he’s achieved? Catholicism and modern morality are held in tension, and Pope Patrick must make once unimaginable choices. When the truth begins to emerge, the Vatican wants him silenced. The Pope’s sheltered existence becomes a race of life and death.

Some Blogger Reaction:

‘Beautifully written, it’s articulate and compassionate… Thought provoking and unputdownable.’ Lesley Budge, The Bookwormery

‘The most conceptually striking novel I’ve read this year… nothing short of genius.’ Julie Ryan, All Things Bookie

‘Strangely moving and intensely thoughtful…’ Joules Barham, Northern Reader

‘Part thriller, part mystery, part who-dun-it… a truly original story’ Angela Crowther, Promoting Crime Fiction

Virgin & Child is a fantasy, but meticulous research, liturgical and anatomical, persuades us to accept it is based on facts’ Gwen Moffat, Shots

‘Lyrical and full of philosophical questions’ Madeleine Shakespeare, Ramblingmads


‘This literary thriller is not your average whodunnit, but rather a modern morality suspense story with an unexpected twist… A compelling alternative papal mystery’

- Elizabeth Fitzherbert, The Lady

‘This Vatican thriller is beautifully written with some extraordinary twists and turns'

- Jane Corry, Sidmouth Herald

‘Lively and sympathetic… expertly, she convinces us to the point where we willingly suspend disbelief’

- Caroline Bowder, Church Times

‘Maggie Hamand… invokes thriller tropes, mixing them with science fiction-style speculation, journalistic observation and lyrical descriptions’

- Michèle Roberts, The Tablet

‘A surprisingly realistic and robust exploration of the church’s view on femininity, abortion, the body, love and more… clever and intriguing’

- Niamh Donnelly, The Irish Times

‘Hamand goes on to relate a tale so humanely, so movingly and with such authorial depth and deftness that the reader would have to be a saint not to read it through in one enormous sitting… beautifully written and utterly transgressive’

- Paul Simon, The Morning Star

Maggie Hamand

‘Hamand has an acutely tuned ear for the innermost needs and yearnings of the human heart’  The Morning Star Maggie Hamand is a novelist, journalist, and non-fiction author. She was the winner of the first World One-Day Novel cup and her novel, The Resurrection of the Body, has been optioned for film and television. Maggie followed a degree in Biochemistry and a Master’s in Theology with a PhD in Creative Writing, and lectures at the University of Hull. Maggie has also taught at Morley College, Holloway Prison, and London University …

Related News & Articles

Maggie Hamand on thrillers, a papal mystery, & PhD advice

Would you call Virgin & Child a thriller? I used a lot of techniques deployed by thriller writers to try to grip the reader, and create a sense of mystery and tension. But it’s a novel that works at many levels, so it’s not a straightforward commercial thriller by any …

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