Messiah of the Slums

In 2017 my novel, Messiah of the Slums [MotS], went to second edition. Booker Prize chair, UK politician and social justice campaigner, Sir Gerald Kaufman wrote the Foreword to this edition. The very brilliant and kind [hyperlink] Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, now Master of Magdalen College Cambridge, wrote the Afterword by. The book was very positively reviewed (as seen below). To write the book, I researched into the international and UK drug trade, addiction, Jesus of Nazareth, the Islamic saint, Rabia of Basra and gang culture.

I am deeply impressed by the bold conception and vivid writing. Having a Muslim woman as the Messiah is a stroke of genius.
Rowan Williams

Master of Magdalene College Cambridge, former Archbishop of Canterbury

Enthralling. It is a sign of huge talent that, in one book, an author can mingle the rough, the heart-rending, the humane and the mystical and meld them all together into a smoothly running novel. Pickering has achieved this, notably.
Sir Gerald Kaufman

Chair of the Booker Prize, social justice campaigner, Member of Parliament

Pickering draws the world of a deprived, hopeless estate so powerfully. She is very strong on dialogue – giving each character his or her own distinctive voice.  I sometimes find in novels that everyone speaks in the same way – like the author, I suspect.  Pickering is the very opposite of that. Some striking metaphors and similes, unlike anything I have read before.   I am fascinated by the juxtaposition of a miracle worker in this gritty, real world, the understandable wish for a saviour, and how that plays out, carries people along, frightens the powerful.  Very gospel-like.
Peter Stanford

Author, journalist, broadcaster

Charlotte Pickering writes with real insight regarding the challenges which many people face in a fragmented society. Many of us can identify with the characters she portrays together with the need to embrace the issues of our times with the message of hope that ‘We’ll dance again, and see what summer brings.
Malcolm McMahon

Archbishop of Liverpool

A compelling and brutal read.
Tom Shakespeare

Sociologist, author, journalist, disability rights campaigner

Amazing. Written with such energy and passion, Messiah lifts the lid on the tragedy of contemporary life and will linger in the imagination long after the last page is turned.
Pamela Gordon

BBC & C4 Television Producer

This is a novel of hope brought to some of society’s most hopeless, of encouragement and of miracles in seemingly unlikely surroundings. It lingers in the mind long after reading.
Ann Widdecombe MP

MP, Novelist, TV Personality

This is a rare and brave book, engrossing even as it is discomforting – a bold and visionary novel addressing the deepest challenges of social and spiritual redemption.
Helen Wilcox

Author, Professor of English, Bangor University

Charlotte Pickering’s book is an amazing exposé on good and evil in our society today.  Charlotte shows beautifully how good can overcome evil amongst us.  She gives us hope, when, at times, we feel there is none.  Excellent writing and storytelling.
Mary Lou Wallner

Subject of Daniel G Karslake’s film For the Bible Tells me So, co-founder of TEACH

Messiah of the Slums bears Charlotte Pickering’s distinctive hallmark of total originality spiced with superb picture-painting and a cast of well-drawn, troubled characters. Pickering is a master storyteller who isn’t afraid to plumb the deepest depths of difficult issues in a fresh, non-preaching way.
Vanessa Greatorex

Author, University of Chester

I read this almost in one sitting – wanting to hold on to the energy of the story as it unfolded. Weaving together the war in Afghanistan with racism, inner-city poverty and drug and gang culture is no easy thing. While painful to read, the book reminds us of the brutality and futility of violence and all that drives it. Jamal and Jessie are key characters, figures of vulnerability and love.
Their journey, shared with those around them, reveals the mystery of miracles: encounter, recognition, healing and change in the midst of hopelessness. Violence does not have the last word.
Pat Gaffney

Pax Christi UK

Immensely enjoyable. Charlotte Pickering writes with verve and buoyancy.
John Wight

Huffington Post