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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Letters of the Cloth by Robert Lupinacci is a powerful and compelling tale of a once oppressed young man who wants to change a venerable but hypocritical system. A story that spans over 75 years, this is the journey of a man named Marcello that begins in the war-torn year 1943. At the tender age of 6, his Catholic father, and his twin sister, Gaia, had to pay the price as the Nazis discover that they were harboring his best friend’s Jewish family. This harrowing and brutal incident resulted in an emotional and psychological scar on Marcello, creating a personal crusade to become a catalyst of change in a rotten institution and serve as a voice for the oppressed. Marcello’s zeal and commitment pay off as he becomes the pope and his best friend, Chiano, becomes the chief rabbi of Rome.
Letters of the Cloth is an intense, dramatic story with a strong element of realism and the resulting plot is satisfying and highly original. Robert Lupinacci employs narrative touches that draw attention to and give his protagonists the necessary chutzpah to help you understand and follow them to whatever end. Lupinacci’s writing effectively uses crisp and clear sentences in depicting Marcello’s rise to power as a healing mechanism for his festering emotional and psychological trauma. I love stories like this where characters vent their deeply-rooted anger not only on one person but on an entire system or institution, which makes for a grander scope of motivation and character development. Marcello rises from an unknown to becoming one of the most influential men in history and changes the Catholic Church as an institution. He is a character with sincere intentions yet struggles with a heaviness of heart that makes him purely human. This book is an epic drama that anyone would enjoy reading.