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Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite
An Irish Lullaby by Louis Michael Manzo inspires belief in the miraculous. Father Sean O’Connor is semi-retired, and at 75 years old he is back at his beloved Saint Aloysius Parish. Reflecting, holding his Medal of Honor medallion, he realizes time has somehow escaped him. Father O’Connor has seen God’s miracles in countless lives and situations throughout his priesthood. His exploits are cherished and unforgettable – “O’Connor’s Miracles.” When a devout young Catholic girl, Angela Sanchez, has an abortion, the ripple effect is unimaginable. Father O’Connor and members of his parish become entangled in the controversy. Angela’s decision touches lives in unforeseen ways, especially for Aubrey Fitzgibbon, the President of the Board of the local family planning center. Aubrey holds a dark secret. There are no coincidences with God. “Sometimes God chooses to put us in the most extraordinary places at the most unordinary times” to perform the impossible.
Louis Michael Manzo pens an unforgettable story in An Irish Lullaby. Manzo’s Irish Catholic neighborhood roots shine bright and flow throughout the narrative. It is so well written that you can hear the Irish brogue, taste the Irish whiskey, feel the deep-rooted bonds of friendship, and easily envision the nostalgia of the New Jersey neighborhood. The opening chapter is horrific and gripping, immediately piercing your soul and your heart. Manzo delves deep into his story’s conflict; the evidence of his research is seen and felt in the depictions of his characters and plot. The dramatic story portrays a balanced perspective of the politics and religious views pertaining to abortion. More importantly, it exposes the personal struggles of those facing the decision and the traumatic aftermath. The protagonist is witty, a tad bit sarcastic, loyal, and courageous. He is an aging man full of ardent faith, yet he is not perfect. He has deep feelings, a man of action, believing that nothing is impossible. Everyone needs a Father O’Connor in their life! From the first word and up to the book's closing line, the theme of “where God breeds life there will always be hope” resounds. An Irish Lullaby sings a timeless song; a memorable melody that will keep you humming, and pondering its truth for a lifetime.