Cynthia Piantedosi lives a quiet, unassuming life outside of Boston, guided by her Catholic faith. When she loses her beloved grandmother, she begins experiencing "spells" of such intense spiritual intimacy that she wonders about her sanity. Devoted to her elderly father and not particularly interested in dating and socializing, she develops a deep friendship with her parish priest. His congregation sees him as provocative and radical, but he encourages Cynthia to explore her faith - however it presents itself.
When he is killed in a mysterious accident, a message begins to emerge from Cynthia's prayers: God is calling her to be the first female Catholic priest. Her revelation is met with ridicule by certain of the more reactionary officials she reaches out to within the Church. Unable to tune out the divine messages, she lets the power of unswerving faith drive her all the way to the Vatican in pursuit of a destiny she doesn't fully understand - and a turn of events that will rock the Church to its foundation.
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"Starred Review. Merullo's (Breakfast with Buddha) latest is a page-turning novel of religious ideas written with love and imagination." - Publishers Weekly
"Starred Review. A fresh, moving portrait of religion as it could and should be. The cliff hanging finale offers hope that we will see more of Cynthia's odyssey in future books." - Kirkus
"Starred Review. This spiritual journey, full of transcendent descriptions and plot twists, brings many moments of wisdom and humor to savor. For anyone with a philosophical bent, Merullo (Breakfast with Buddha; the Revere Beach trilogy) illuminates truth as only the keenest of observers can." - Library Journal
"Fans of Alice McDermott and Merullo's earlier work will appreciate the heart, soul, and sheer joy found in Vatican Waltz and one woman's commitment to a life far more miraculous than she ever imagined." - Booklist
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Roland Merullo is the acclaimed author whose books include Revere Beach Boulevard, Golfing with God, and the Buddha trilogy: Breakfast with Buddha, lunch with Buddha and dinner with Buddha. Merullo's work has been translated into German, Spanish, Korean, and Croatian, and he has won numerous prizes, including the Massachusetts Book Awards in both fiction and nonfiction. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two children.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
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