An Irish Lullaby

Fiction - Inspirational
236 Pages
Reviewed on 08/11/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

As Chief of the Jersey City Department of Health, Louis Manzo exposed corporate greed—an unscrupulous company trying to cover up chromium contamination affecting children and city neighborhoods. His efforts led to health studies for the residents and culminated in the country's largest chromium contamination remediation project.

As a New Jersey Assemblyman, Louis Manzo sat on a special legislative committee that sponsored legislation producing the largest property tax rebate in New Jersey's history. He also cosponsored some of the toughest anti-gang and gun violence laws in recent history. In a Resolution of tribute passed by the entire New Jersey General Assembly, Manzo's colleagues proclaimed, "Louis Manzo is an individual of remarkable character and exceptional determination."

Manzo now resides in Belmar, New Jersey, where he is dedicated to writing. He previously authored God's Earth Also Cries, a novel based on the chromium contamination crisis of the 1980s, and Ruthless Ambition: The Rise and Fall of Chris Christie, a semi biography of the New Jersey Governor and Manzo's experience with him.

    Book Review

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.

K.C. Finn

An Irish Lullaby is a work of Christian fiction by author Louis Michael Manzo. Billed as an uplifting life story which depicts a journey to fulfillment, our heroic duo is a priest and a working mother. Father O’Connor is an aged priest verging on the brink of a reluctant retirement from Saint Aloysius Catholic Parish, whilst his parishioner, Aubrey Fitzgibbons, has many complications to add to her faith. She believes in contraception and abortion, so when she aids a teenage girl with the latter, the good Father gets involved in a last-ditch attempt to do something before he’s wheeled off to the home for old priests. In the middle of this madness, Aubrey herself becomes pregnant, but the condition of the fetus threatens her own life. Questions of right and wrong plague Aubrey and O’Connor as they navigate to a startling solution.

As an agnostic, I usually review Christian fiction with a certain hat on, removing my own beliefs from the process, but I didn’t have to do that with An Irish Lullaby. The plot is unveiled against the backdrop of Catholicism and plays very intelligently on the contradictions between traditional belief systems and the realities of modern life, which I really appreciated. I found both Aubrey and Father O'Connor to be really well-developed characters who have much more to them than just their faith. I could really get behind Louis Michael Manzo’s opinions on how the law and current social beliefs impact on issues such as abortion and the rights a woman has to her body. Bravo.

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

Aubrey is determined to do what’s best for those around her and when a young teenage girl comes to her, pregnant and frightened, Aubrey agrees to help her obtain the abortion that she wants, no matter what the church may believe. But Aubrey has a number of additional problems to worry about, including her own pregnancy and the distance her decision has created between her and her faith. But it’s not just about her. It’s also about Father O’Connor, who is facing leaving the church for the first time in a long while. The church and his church family are all he has, but finding a way to keep himself a part of it all is proving more difficult than he might have thought in An Irish Lullaby by Louis Michael Manzo.

An Irish Lullaby is a story about more than just Aubrey and Father O’Connor, but they’re the characters that you’re definitely going to be drawn to. Between them, Scaponi and Monsignor Norton, you’re not going to find a single dull moment. There’s always something going on and each character has their own story to tell. When religion and your own needs come to a head, it can be hard to know just where you stand. For Aubrey and for Angela especially, as they face the possibility of abortion and disaster amongst their church, it’s difficult to know what they will decide. An Irish Lullaby by Louis Michael Manzo is all about the challenges of life, for the young and the older, and about the choices that we all must make.

Divine Zape

An Irish Lullaby by Louis Michael Manzo is a bold and powerful novel that is as emotionally charged as it is mind-boggling. A tale that involves an aging priest, a woman torn between loyalties, and a moral question of the century. Aubrey Fitzgibbons is wife to the Church Deacon, but she also serves as head of the local Planned Parenthood agency. When she assists a teenager in a midterm abortion, she is torn between what the Church teaches her and her commitment to serving her community. But everything changes when she becomes pregnant and is diagnosed with a medical condition that threatens her own life. Everyone expects her to abort the baby, including her husband and doctors, but she is about to travel a path that will surprise everyone. Follow her on this perilous journey as she makes a very important and life-changing decision, and she learns to see her truth most intimately.

This is a beautiful story with powerful moral underpinnings, a book about abortion that is intelligently plotted and executed with rare skill. I loved the characters, especially Fr. O’Connor, a gutsy kind of man with a dedication to his vocation that is rare to find. Readers will enjoy the multi-layered conflict and the dilemma in which the protagonist finds herself. The writing is excellent and readers will appreciate how the author handles the themes of religion, family, love and loyalty in this book. The dialogues are wonderfully crafted and the setting comes out vividly. An Irish Lullaby is a deeply moving story with compelling characters, and Louis Michael Manzo shows great skill in storytelling, weaving a tale that will keep readers enthralled.