Forge, Apr 2003, 24.95, 352 pp.
Happily married to his beloved Rosemarie and father to five adult children and three grandchildren that he adores and loves Charles “Chucky” Cronin still worries about the future. He remains a faithful Catholic, but wonders if perhaps the church abandoned its flock. He contemplates whether he is just suffering from a biological occurrence for someone turning fifty or a reaction to continual racial inequality, assassinations, priestly wrongdoing, Viet Nam and Watergate? Rosemary worries about much of the same agenda, but also is concerned with Chucky, who seems to have lost his step.
Chucky, a professional photographer and former ambassador, soon regains much of his sixties and early seventies fervor that put him at odds with presidents. He and Rosemary try to dislodge a church protected pediophile priest. That fails because Cardinal Archbishop Thomas John O'Neill is psychotic and paranoid especially when it comes to protecting one of his own. Chuck and Rosemary have a cause to remove both abominations even as a personal miracle that has not happened to this couple in two decades occurs.
The sixth O'Malley chronicle is an insightful look at the Carter Administration through the eyes of Chucky and Rosemary, alternating chapters. The story line provides a vivid scrutiny while insuring the lead couple feels complete. Chucky suffers from a mid life crisis as he begins to question all he once believed in while Rosemary encourages him to gracefully continue the fight for what both know is right. Andrew Greeley furnishes a delightful charmer that displays how the late 1970s, only twenty-five years ago, feel today like ancient history even to one who lived through it.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner