Thursday, December 12, 2013

What is Roland Merullo reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Roland Merullo, author of Vatican Waltz.

His entry begins:
I used to read a lot of fiction, but these days I read only a few novels a year and I’ve been trying to figure out why. It’s especially strange because I write novels—mostly—and because I love the novel form. Maybe it’s that I feel like, after 15 published books, I know the tricks, and if I get even the smallest sense that the author is showing his or her hand, drifting away from full sincerity, then the book loses its reality for me, what John Gardner referred to as “the unbroken dream.” I want a novel that speaks to what I think of as “the big questions”: what are we doing here? What is the point of this complex drama in the middle of which we find ourselves?

Instead of novels, I find myself reading a lot of psychology and religion—though more the broad-minded mystics than the narrow-minded, rules-bound religious material. I loved Thomas Keating’s Intimacy with God. I like to re-read...[read on]
About Vatican Waltz, from the publisher:
The new novel from the award-winning author of Breakfast with Buddha and Revere Beach Boulevard tells the story of a young Catholic woman jolted from a quietly devout life in pursuit of a mysterious calling.

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.
Visit Roland Merullo's website.

Writers Read: Roland Merullo.

--Marshal Zeringue