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American Savior: A Novel of Divine Politics

by Roland Merullo

[Book Jacket] Roland Merullo's novel American Savior posits an inspired "what if" scenario: What if Jesus, alarmed at how the earth's most powerful nation has lost its spiritual footing and dismayed at how His own teachings have been distorted--used by politicians and religious zealots to turn love into hatred and faith into a call to arms-- returns and announces that he is running for President of the United States? What if He becomes a third-party candidate, is heralded as the Son of God, and not only threatens to disrupt the status quo but poses a serious threat to the already established Democratic and Republican candidates? What would happen? How would the media react? And, more important, how would we react? Narrated by a more than slightly cynical young TV reporter, American Savior puts the reader inside the campaign waged by what is quickly dubbed the Divinity Party and follows Jesus and his modern-day disciples as they travel across the nation making speeches, reaching out to the people, and in the process arousing the ire of those who believe they know God, and who know, most assuredly, that this is not He.

Breakfast with Buddha

by Roland Merullo

Otto Ringling is a straight-laced publishing executive with two kids, a lovely wife, a fine home in a fancy New York suburb, and a nagging suspicion that something's missing. How, then, does he end up on traveling through Middle America with a berobed Mongolian monk? Ah. The real question to ask is, Why? When his sister tricks him into taking her guru on a trip to their childhood home, Otto Ringling, a confirmed skeptic, is not amused. Six days on the road with an enigmatic holy man who answers every question with a riddle is not what he had planned. However, in an effort to westernize his passenger--and amuse himself--he decides to show the monk some "American fun" along the way. From a chocolate factory in Hershey to a bowling alley in South Bend, from a Cubs game at Wrigley Field to his family farm near Bismarck, Otto is given the remarkable opportunity to see his world--and more important, his life--through someone else's eyes. Gradually, skepticism yields to amazement as he realizes that his companion might just be the real thing. In Roland Merullo's masterful hands, Otto tells his story with all the wonder, bemusement, and wry humor of a man who unwittingly finds what he is missing in the most unexpected place.

Fidel's Last Days

by Roland Merullo

Roland Merullo has consistently wowed critics with his brilliant storytelling and his refusal to be pigeonholed, hopscotching from the coming-of-age tale (In Revere, In Those Days) to the novel-as-fable (Golfing with God) to the road trip genre (Breakfast with Buddha). Now Merullo delivers a dazzling and finely nuanced political thriller about a clandestine plot to assassinate Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Former CIA agent Carolina Perez has spent five years working deep undercover with a singular goal: to take down Castro and free Cuba from his troubled presence. Recruited by a powerful shadow organization known as the White Orchid, steely and sexy Carolina has passed test after test to prove herself ready for the ultimate assignment. Convinced of the rightness of her cause, she will do anything to complete her mission. That includes duping her uncle Roberto Anzar, a wealthy and influential player in Miami's Cuban American community. But when suspicious details raise questions about her mysterious employer, not even Carolina is prepared for the elaborate web of deceit that surrounds her. Across the Straits of Florida, Carlos Gutierrez has been lured into playing a pivotal role in the plot to overthrow el Comandante. The minister of health and a member of Castro's inner circle, Carlos has grown disenchanted with a political system that pays lip service to the Revolution's egalitarian ideals while ruling the country with ruthlessness, corruption, and lies. As his involvement deepens at great risk to himself and those he loves, the doctor who has dedicated his career to saving lives must decide how much blood he is willing to have on his own hands in the name of freedom. For both Carlos and Carolina, the threat of betrayal looms large. Who can be trusted in a byzantine network of spies, double agents, and informants? Is the plot real or is it an elaborate ruse to expose the underground dissidents in Cuba? From the sizzling opulence of Miami to the paranoid dreamscape of Havana,Fidel's Last Daysis a dizzying ride by a novelist whose genre-crossing talents know no bounds. From the Hardcover edition.

Golfing with God: A Novel

by Roland Merullo

In a previous life, Herman "Hank" Fins-Winston had been a golf pro--an excellent teacher of the game who never quite made it on the circuit, having missed his one real shot at greatness. He now lives in a lovely condominium on the thirteenth fairway of one of heaven's 8,187 golf courses. God and His closest companions, you see, play the game often. And though Jesus never bothers to keep score, Buddha never takes a practice swing, and Moses doesn't consider it cheating when he parts the courses' water hazards, they all take the sport very seriously. In heaven, even God replaces His divots. Hank's afterlife takes an unexpected turn when he is summoned to help a player whose game is in a slump. To his dismay, his new pupil is God Himself. Or Herself. Depending on the day. As they play the most heavenly courses in paradise and back on earth, Hank realizes that it's he who's learning the lessons-about fearing failure, about second chances, about the connectedness of all living things, about not taking the next breath for granted, and about our God-given ability to improve ourselves--one stroke at a time.

In Revere, In Those Days

by Roland Merullo

In this richly evocative novel--the moving story of one boy's coming of age--acclaimed author Roland Merullo will make you nostalgic for a small Massachusetts city called Revere even if you've never been there. Providing a window into an unspoiled America of forty years ago, In Revere welcomes you to the fiercely loyal and devoted Italian-American family of the Benedettos.Although he was orphaned as a child, young Anthony Benedetto was always surrounded by family, and the vibrant warmth of the Revere community. His Uncle Peter, a former Golden Gloves boxer whose days of glory were behind him, believed Tonio was bound for great things. So did his daughter Rosie, Tonio's favorite cousin, who would take many wrong turns--away from Tonio--through adolescence. His gentle grandparents, who took him in, encouraged him to claim a future outside of Revere, but the warm, unconditional love of his family, and the smells and sounds of Revere stay with him forever.From the Trade Paperback edition. the swamp of despair with a desperate, old-world love. As the New World calls to him, he gradually grows up and away from Revere but finds that it is as much a part of him as his eye color and the size of his hands. His eventual realizations--that geography is destiny, that suffering is universal, and that he is able to pass on, to his own children, the priceless Benedetto inheritance of warmth and caring--form the essence of who he becomes as a man.The Benedetto family's story, a tale of sorrow, hope, and redemption, gives us a lost America and a fading Italian American culture that lie beyond the clichés. In Revere, In Those Days is a hauntingly beautiful novel by a graceful and extremely talented writer.From the Hardcover edition.

In Revere, In Those Days: A Novel

by Roland Merullo

In this richly evocative novel--the moving story of one boy's coming of age--acclaimed author Roland Merullo will make you nostalgic for a small Massachusetts city called Revere even if you've never been there. Providing a window into an unspoiled America of forty years ago, In Revere welcomes you to the fiercely loyal and devoted Italian-American family of the Benedettos. Although he was orphaned as a child, young Anthony Benedetto was always surrounded by family, and the vibrant warmth of the Revere community. His Uncle Peter, a former Golden Gloves boxer whose days of glory were behind him, believed Tonio was bound for great things. So did his daughter Rosie, Tonio's favorite cousin, who would take many wrong turns--away from Tonio--through adolescence. His gentle grandparents, who took him in, encouraged him to claim a future outside of Revere, but the warm, unconditional love of his family, and the smells and sounds of Revere stay with him forever.

The Italian Summer

by Roland Merullo

Fore, bella! From the author of critically acclaimed Golfing with God comes a charming narrative of a hole-in-one trip through Italy -- a glorious summer of golfing, eating, and learning how to slow down and enjoy life. In the summer of 2007, Roland Merullo was feeling a little burnt out by the frantic pace of his life in the United States and decided to rent an Italian villa near the shore of Lake Como. He arrived in Italy with his wife and two young daughters, hoping the Mediterranean air would teach him to appreciate the more relaxed, Italian way of living: a focus on food, family, and fun. An avid golfer and golf writer, Merullo also set out to enjoy one of Italy's lesser-known treasures: excellent golf on some gorgeous courses. With his customary wit, keen eye, and down-to-earth style, Merullo shares this fascinating account of his summer in Italy, offering detailed and often humorous descriptions of wonderful meals, colorful characters, rounds of golf at some of the most beautiful courses in Europe, and precious time spent with family. The Italian Summer brings to life the myriad joys of Italian existence in a way that all lovers of food, wine, travel, and the proverbial "good walk spoiled" will savor.

A Little Love Story

by Roland Merullo

InA Little Love Story, Roland Merullo--winner of the Massachusetts Book Award and the Maria Thomas Fiction Award--has created a sometimes poignant, sometimes hilarious tale of attraction and loyalty, jealousy and grief. It is a classic love story--with some modern twists. Janet Rossi is very smart and unusually attractive, an aide to the governor of Massachusetts, but she suffers from an illness that makes her, as she puts it, "not exactly a good long-term investment. " Jake Entwhistle is a few years older, a carpenter and portrait painter, smart and good-looking too, but with a shadow over his romantic history. After meeting by accident--literally--when Janet backs into Jake's antique truck, they begin a love affair marked by courage, humor, a deep and erotic intimacy . . . and modern complications. Working with the basic architecture of the love story genre, Merullo--a former carpenter known for his novels about family life--breaks new ground with a fresh look at modern romance, taking liberties with the classic design, adding original lines of friendship, spirituality, and laughter, and, of course, probing the mystery of love.

The Talk-Funny Girl

by Roland Merullo

In one of the poorest parts of rural New Hampshire, teenage girls have been disappearing, snatched from back country roads, never to be seen alive again. For seventeen-year-old Marjorie Richards, the fear raised by these abductions is the backdrop to what she lives with her own home, every day. Marjorie has been raised by parents so intentionally isolated from normal society that they have developed their own dialect, a kind of mountain hybrid of English that displays both their ignorance of and disdain for the wider world. Marjorie is tormented by her classmates, who call her "The Talk-funny girl," but as the nearby factory town sinks deeper into economic ruin and as her parents fall more completely under the influence of a sadistic cult leader, her options for escape dwindle. But then, thanks to a loving aunt, Marjorie is hired by a man, himself a victim of abuse, who is building what he calls "a cathedral," right in the center of town. Day by day, Marjorie's skills as a stoneworker increase, and so too does her intolerance for the bitter rules of her family life. Gradually, through exposure to the world beyond her parents' wood cabin thanks to the kindness of her aunt and her boss, and an almost superhuman determination, she discovers what is loveable within herself. This newfound confidence and self-esteem ultimately allows her to break free from the bleak life she has known, to find love, to start a family, and to try to heal her old, deep wounds without passing that pain on to her husband and children. By turns darkly menacing and bright with love and resilience, The Talk-Funny Girl is the story of one young woman's remarkable courage, a kind of road map for the healing of early abuse, and a testament to the power of kindness and love. From the Hardcover edition.

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