Sunday, October 26, 2014

Wing Tip: My Review

About the Book:
Dante De Luz's steel was forged in his youth, in the crucible of harsh losses and triumphant love. But that steel gets tested like never before as the revelation of a family secret presents the young Catholic priest with the toughest challenge of his life, with stakes that can't get any higher. 

This unique tale of relentless love offers a profound look at the mercy of God as revealed through the trials of one man and the failures and flaws in his family line. 

Wrapped within the plot line is a thought-provoking love story that reveals the power of authentic and pure romantic love to see beyond social classes and materialism. 

“Wing Tip is the compelling story of how one man refuses to allow a stunning revelation about his very identity to destroy his life, but amid much struggle, transforms the dark revelation into a restoration of a lost soul,” says literary critic Leticia Velasquez, Catholic Media Review. “It allows the reader a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the heart of a fervent priest." 

“Through the life of one man, Wing Tip journeys with the reader into the adventure of God’s relentless pursuit of His lost sheep,” says Father Paul Sullivan, director of vocations for the Diocese of Phoenix. “So relatable, so enjoyable, this book will leave the reader to consider the enduring joys that come with living God’s will in the situation that we find ourselves in and the legacy that we will leave when at last we are called home.”

My Comments:
The book begins with an almost deathbed scene.  Fr. Dante's mother is elderly and frail and not long for this world.  He has heard her confession and now wants to give her Communion.  She refuses, and says that she needs to go to confession, there is something she has withheld, but she wants a different priests.  Fr. Dante calls another priest who hears her confession, and shortly thereafter, she dies.  After the funeral the other priest gives him a letter that his mother dictated, a letter that tells her secrets.  Fr. Dante then makes contact with the other person mentioned in the letter.  The book is the story of Fr. Dante's life and this man's life along with the lives of Dante's mother and father.  

I found the book to be an engaging read that very overtly presented Catholic doctrine and practice.  I liked Fr. Dante and would love for him to be assigned to my parish (not that I have any problems with my current pastor).  The Catholic church and the sacraments were clearly presented as the means by which Jesus reaches us to save us.  

That being said, the book had editing problems.  Dante's mother is described in the opening scene (which happens in the present day) as frail and old, but the beginning of the story took place when she was twenty-nine. At that time, she knew a man who had WNBA tickets (the league started in 1996), she listened to Sonny and Cher songs on the car radio including I've Got You Babe ( a 1965 hit--and Sonny and Cher split in 1975) and there is a reference to Farrah Fawcett vs Cheryl Ladd (Charlie's Angels 1975-1981). Ten year old Dante and his mother go to Mass and hear "We proclaim your death, oh Lord and proclaim (sic) your resurrection, until you come again".  Also, the window Fr. Dante has on his mother's past is a letter she dictated while on her deathbed.  Fr. Dante then uses this letter to tell his mother's story to the other person mentioned in the letter.  There was far too much story; far too much detail for such a letter.  Had the letter directed him to journals or to other people who would know details, it would have made more sense.  

There are times I wanted to give this book an "A" because of the beauty of the writing alone, and other times that I almost rolled my eyes at things that seemed to be put in the story just to give Boas a chance to inform her readers about another aspect of Catholicism.  While I enjoyed the story, it is definitely the story of the spiritual life of a priest and as readers we listen to Fr. Dante speaking to penitents in the confessional, counselling unbelievers and encouraging believers.  

I'd like to thank Catholic Word for providing a review copy of this book.  I was not obligated to provide a positive review.  Grade: B-

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