I’m excited to be reviewing Body & Soul by Mario Dell’Olio! Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Special thanks to Mario for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Raised in a strict Catholic family, Luca seemed destined for priesthood. His safe spiritual world is shattered after just one kiss with a college roommate. Luca enters a period of self-discovery as his journey of love opens his eyes to joy he never thought possible. Along with his new-found love comes unfathomable pain and self-doubt. Years later, a newly ordained bishop is at the pinnacle of his career when a chance encounter with a lover from his youth threatens to upend his prestigious career and comfortable life. His vow of celibacy and vocation are called into question as he struggles with his faith, loneliness, and need for love. How do these seemingly disparate characters come together to make sense of the unexpected twists and turns in their lives? How do they balance their bodily desires with their soul’s search for meaning?
Body & Soul readds a bit like a personal memoir more than a novel and it feels very intimate. Mario Dell’Olio’s focus on his character Luca’s thoughts and reflections were what tugged at my heart strings the most and made me connect with the novel the most.
This is an interesting look at sexual identity and in particular, how it relates to religion. One critique I have is that this book jumps from the past to the present, along with switching POVs, and it felt a bit confusing at times. I think I would have rather just learned the story through Luca’s POV with some flashbacks and background information to get the necessary info.
I think Mario Dell’Olio handled this topic with care and grace, which is important if you decide to write about these two subjects. I think this book is thoughtful and reflective. I’m happy to have given it a read.
4/5☆ (3.5 rounded to 4)
As chair of the music department and ethics teacher at an independent school for girls in Manhattan, Mario Dell’Olio conducts the Concert and Chamber Choirs. Dr. Dell’Olio is responsible for all Liturgical celebrations for the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools. He leads the Choirs on annual international and domestic concert tours and has released numerous albums on iTunes and Amazon.com. Dr. Dell’Olio was director of music at Mission Dolores Basilica in San Francisco, California, from 1990 – 2000. He led the Basilica Choir on its first international concert tour to Italy in June 1999. Dr. Dell’Olio holds a Doctor of Sacred Music, a Master of Music in Vocal Performance, and a Masters in Religious Education. He pursued postgraduate work in Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy. https://www.mariodellolio.com/
Let me know what you think!