Crown Publishing Group (NY)
I like everything that Roland Merullo has written — Breakfast with Buddha, Lunch with Buddha — and thoroughly enjoyed his new book, Vatican Waltz.
Cynthia Piantedosi is a devout Catholic who has experienced visions, or “spells”, since she was a young girl. When her beloved grandmother dies, Cynthia’s visions take on a greater intensity, pointing her towards becoming the first female Catholic priest. At least this is what she thinks God is telling her. She is so focused on this goal that she pursues it all the way to the Vatican. The backlash that results from this pursuit instead reveals God’s true intentions, which will inevitably lead to just as much upheaval in the church as inviting women into the priesthood.
Vatican Waltz is not thrilling in the manner of The DaVinci Code, but is instead a more thoughtful examination of how the Catholic church might respond to an elemental change in its foundational beliefs.
Merullo writes about religion, faith, and spirituality without trivializing them. He forces us to rethink what we truly believe and what we blindly adhere to. He pushes the boundaries of dogma without denigrating one’s beliefs. I read this novel slowly because I wanted to savor it. Merullo’s books are more about the journey than the destination, and this was a journey best traveled slowly.
~ Lysbeth Abrams