Shared Sorrows
by Vincent Panettiere

"There were times, he had to admit, when violence was fuel for his imagination."

Frank DioGuardia is wrestling with the past. As the leaves fall from the trees, and the cool breezes begin to become more frequent, optimism eludes Frank. He is reminded of a dark day in October when his father died of a massive heart attack at sixty-one years of age. This loss has left a lasting imprint on Frank's mindset. A streak of fatalism has taken over his thinking. Despite having a wonderful wife and three kids, Frank feels as if he is only going through the motions. A march in the Columbus Day parade changes everything as Frank foils an attack on a cardinal. His reaction is instinctual, yet the ramifications will surpass anything Frank can possibly imagine. Frank will be dubbed "God's Guardian," and fame will prove quick and unyielding.

The author has written a riveting work of fiction where the past proves hard to shake off. The protagonist, Frank, is haunted by a distant but seminal moment in his life. The cloud that enshrouds his mindset pervades the beginning of the novel but doesn't linger. The story is invigorated with action, dark humor, and drama. Initially, Frank is not the easiest of protagonists to sympathize with, especially as he takes his family for granted. Yet, as his storyline progresses, readers will likely find more reasons to identify and empathize with him. Panettiere hits hard at the vulture-like nature of the mainstream media, especially once Frank begins to shy away from his fame. Love, loss, and the impermanence of life echo throughout this appealing effort.

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