THE BOOK: Francesca.
PUBLISHED IN: May 2021
THE AUTHOR: Don Tassone
THE PUBLISHER: Adelaide Books
SUMMARY: It is 2055, and there’s a new pope. It’s Jessica Simon, an American, a wife and a mother. She’s taken the name Francesca. A lifelong advocate for the poor, she be-lieves the Catholic Church must return to Jesus’ teachings and bring God to life in the world.
But powerful forces are aligned against her. They see Francesca as a threat.
Will Pope Francesca succeed in renewing the Church? In an hour of darkness, can she rekindle the light?
THE BACK STORY: This novel is not only about religion. It’s a reminder that we need to periodically re-examine and renew our purpose and make sure what we’re doing lines up with that purpose. It’s also a reflection of my belief in women as leaders in every realm of life.
WHY THIS TITLE: Francesca is the papal name Jessica Simon chooses. It’s a tribute to two of her progressive predecessors, Pope Francis and Pope Francis II, and her spiritual hero, St. Francis of Assisi.
WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: To imagine what’s possible.
A woman from Missouri ends up on the balcony of St. Peter’s in Rome in 2055, having just taken the name Pope Francesca. Like “the visitable past” Henry James speaks of, Tassone’s future is visitable. The reader can go there, to that balcony, that life; and though impossible now, it seems a possible future when imagination and reason to-gether see what the mind alone cannot see now. I enjoyed suspending disbelief and getting to know Pope Francesca. She has a lot to offer that speaks to the needs of our world today, a lot that makes a woman Pope not so far-fetched as it may seem now. What can be imagined is often not far from what can happen. — Murray Bodo OFM, author of Francis: The Journey and the Dream.
Francesca reminds the reader of an untapped potential of emerging faith and growth within the Roman Catholic Church. Women! To some readers that may be alarming. To them Francesca invites the question, “What is there to fear?” To others who believe Jesus still speaks to his followers today to come follow him, perhaps in renewed and vigorous ways, Francesca challenges, “How will you believe? How will you share the Good News in the 21st century?” To both groups of the faithful Francesca reminds, “Nothing is impossible with God.” — Patti Normile, author of Following Francis of Assisi
AUTHOR PROFILE: After a long career in the corporate world, Don Tassone has returned to his creative writing roots. Francesca is his sixth book. The others are the novel Drive and four short story collections: New Twists, Sampler, Small Bites and Get Back. His fifth story col-lection, Snapshots, will be published in August 2021. Don and his wife Liz live in Love-land, Ohio. They have four children and five grandchildren.
AUTHOR COMMENTS: Once in a while, someone comes along who reminds us of what’s most important. The main character in this story is such a person. In times of great change, these people in-spire us to think deeply about the new normal we want to create. I hope this novel will open hearts and minds.
Here’s the very short first chapter.
Rays of the rising sun hit the Egyptian obelisk in the center of St. Peter’s Square, casting a long, thin shadow, pointing like a finger toward the Basilica.
Twelve hours earlier, a newly elected pope had appeared briefly on the balcony. Now the new pontiff was about to hold a news conference, the first ever at the Vatican. Everyone was eager to learn more about this improbable new leader of the world’s two billion Catholics.
Reporters jockeyed for seats or spots to stand. Their cameras, microphones and lights stood in stark contrast with the fourteenth-century, frescoed room.
At 8:00 sharp, with no introduction, the pope entered the room and stepped up to the podium, scanning the curious faces of those gathered and smiling.
“Good morning, everyone,” she said with a slight Missouri drawl.
LOCAL OUTLETS: Joseph-Beth Booksellers
WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1955196443/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i5
PRICE: Kindle $7.99, Paperback $19.60