While he was growing up, Tommy Moran --- an Irish Catholic from the
West Side of Chicago --- was in his older brother Tony's shadow,
and that was fine. With sedate, older parents who were often in
their own world, a big brother was a handy thing to have. Besides,
who doesn't look up to their elder siblings during childhood? The
rub came, however, when Tommy began to move out of the shadow and
into his own light.
From the start, Tony, now Father Anthony in adulthood, disapproves
of Tommy's choice of a wife. But why object to a woman who is
beautiful, talented and educated as well as Irish Catholic? When
Tommy decides to run for the Senate, that's a problem as well. As
far as anyone can tell, little brother cannot make a choice that
pleases big brother, and a flurry of heart-wrenching criticism and
outspoken recrimination is always forthcoming.
With the exception of his relationship with his brother, Tommy
couldn't be happier. He has a beautiful, redheaded wife named Mary
Margaret whom he loves dearly, three beautiful daughters (Mary
Rose, Mary Ann and Mary Therese) and a flourishing legal practice.
Life is good.
But when Tommy makes the decision to run for the Senate, opposition
comes from every corner. His own brother speaks out against him,
and his opponent runs a nasty campaign that seems almost certain to
sink the little known lawyer, who is saddled with the nickname Mr.
Mom. While it was a decision made in the best interests of the
family so Mary Margaret could pursue her own rising legal career,
will the voters see it that way, or will Tommy become a
Violence also becomes a part of the campaign, and one begins to
wonder just how far Tommy's opponent will go to ensure a win that
will allow him to hold his already-established seat in the Senate.
Political dirty tricks abound in this book and escalate to include
Tommy has to decide for himself, as all politicians must, whether
to take the moral high ground or allow himself to be tempted and
drawn into the perks and immorality that are made available to
anyone in American politics today. He wrestles not only with his
high ideals but also with his own moral convictions.
THE SENATOR AND THE PRIEST is interesting not just because of
scandal and family rivalry, both of which are enough to keep one
reading, but also for the issues it tackles. Such topics as
immigration policies, campaign finance and negative political ads
are timely and in the news today.
I also enjoyed the alternating viewpoint of the novel --- all first
person but transitioning from Tommy to Mary Margaret and back
again. This story is one of scandal, intrigue, politics in America,
the Catholic Church and true love. There is not a dull moment in
THE SENATOR AND THE PRIEST!
Reviewed by Amie Taylor on January 23, 2011
The Senator and the Priest