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A Dark Nativity

A novel that traces a young woman’s descent into madness and violence in the worlds of international aid and diplomacy by George Pitcher

This book is fully funded, but you can still support it!

  • https://unbound.com/books/a-dark-nativity

The Synopsis

A Dark Nativity is a novel that traces a young woman’s descent into madness and violence in the worlds of international aid and diplomacy. It introduces the disturbed and disturbing figure of The Rev'd Natalie Cross, a troubled and wounded Anglican priest, tipped to become an early woman bishop, whose background in foreign aid in Sudan and the Middle-East draws her into the sinister world of peace-process politics, where she loses her liberty and very nearly her life. But Natalie is made of battle-hardened stuff and starts a fight-back of pitiless vengeance.

A psychological thriller, A Dark Nativity reclaims the nativity narrative back from the safe and cosy images of shepherds and stars and swaddling clothes and re-sets it in one woman’s experiences of the horrors of oppression and violence in today’s middle-east and Sudan, set against cynical intelligence manipulators in London. As in the original scriptures, it’s about fear and fragility, about violence and cruelty, but it’s also about a triumphant hope and a light and love that emerge even from that darkness. Despite its shock value, it's a story of redemption and sets up a two sequels to form a trilogy.

The Excerpt

Sarah

The tide of refugees had risen gradually during the afternoon. I heard Kurdish as well as regular Syrian Arabic. The border guards were a mixture of Lebanese police and military and were meant to defer to our UNHCR bibs, but they kept directing families of all ages into the holding pens, high flat-wired fenced areas about the size of English suburban gardens, complete with a shed at the bottom end, where shamefully there was a single chemical latrine, some emergency medical gear such as stretchers, as well as a metal chest of flares and, we always suspected, mustard gas.

Sarah had started to warn the men as the air grew more still towards evening that the first pens were growing too crowded. Sarah was always firmer than me. I may have burnished the image in the intervening years, but I picture her now standing, brace-legged in high-waisted khaki trousers, her field phone sticking above her blue bib like a badge of authority, leaning slightly into a captain on her walking stick and telling him what to do with a question.

Read more...

The Author

George Pitcher is a journalist by background and to date an author of non-fiction - this is his first novel.

He is a former award-winning industrial editor of The Observer and columnist and leader-writer for the Daily Telegraph and has written opinion pieces for most of the UK national press. He is also an Anglican priest, ordained at St Paul’s cathedral in 2005, and serves in the dioceses of London and Chichester. He is currently rector of a rural parish in East Sussex, where he keeps donkeys. For a year, he served on the staff of the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, at Lambeth Palace, where he arranged the Archbishop’s controversial but highly successful guest editorship of the New Statesman.

He has long been a supporter of women priests, has led a pilgrimage to the Holy Lands and has knocked around with the intelligence community in London and the US. The Independent once described him as a “turbulent priest”.

Questions & Answers

Tilly Vacher Tilly Vacher asked:

Tilly here - Pol's old friend. Came across this whilst pledging for a friend's book. I volunteer with refugees in Bristol so am most interested in this. So I have pledged. You never replied to my long-ago email about assisted dying ... a subject I feel more than passionate about! Look forward to a debate one day! Meanwhile - good luck with this project...

George Pitcher George Pitcher replied:

Hi Tilly! Thankyou SO much - that's very kind and generous of you. (Sorry, didn't see this message - I don't often look at this part. Not sure I understand the system at all). Thanks again, G/K

The Rewards

All supporters get their name printed in every edition of the book. All levels include immediate access to the author's shed.

$15
Digital
E-book edition and your name in the back of the book
📖 Pledge $15 20 pledges
$40
Hardback
1st edition hardback, ebook edition and your name in the back of the book
📖 Pledge $40 43 pledges
$65
Collectable
Signed 1st edition hardback, ebook edition and your name in the back of the book
📖 Pledge $65 27 pledges
$95
Read with a Friend
Two signed 1st edition hardbacks, ebook edition and your name in the back of the book
$125
Postcard
Signed 1st edition hardback, with a postcard still from the video with a personal message from Natalie Cross, narrator of A Dark Nativity, ebook edition and your name in the back of the book
📖 Pledge $125 21 pledges
$250
Book Club
George Pitcher will attend your book club or other event and say a few words and/or answer questions about A Dark Nativity, plus five signed 1st edition hardbacks, ebook edition and your names in the back of the book
📖 Pledge $250 2 pledges
$625
Patron
Special printed thanks to you or your company in the front of the book, plus 10 signed 1st edition hardbacks, ebook edition and your name in the back of the book
📖 Pledge $625 3 pledges
$1,250
Your Event
George Pitcher will address an audience of your choice (at discretion) at a function of your choice in London or the south-east, such as an after-dinner speech (bill for dinner not included!), plus 20 signed 1st edition hardback, ebook edition and your name in the back of the book
📖 Pledge $1,250 3 pledges
$6,250
Holy Lands
Author George Pitcher will co-lead or accompany your pilgrimage to the Holy Lands, visiting key locations in the plot of A Dark Nativity (travel and pilgrimage costs not included), plus 20 signed 1st edition hardback, ebook edition and your name in the front of the book