The Delight of Being Ordinary: A Road Trip with the Pope and the Dalai Lama by Roland Merullo
Book Review: 4 out of 5 star rating
What a spot Paolo has been put in. His cousin, none other than the Pope himself, has asked Paolo to smuggle him and his visitor, the Dalai Lama, out of the Vatican so they can spend some time being ordinary men. That means getting past all of their security guards and disguising their much-too-well-known faces. Joining them will be Paolo’s estranged wife, Rosa. Paolo is soon branded a wanted kidnapper and his name and face are all over the news. The hunt and chase is on and this promises to be a road trip to remember.
I found this book to have a very refreshing view of religion. Basically, both the Pope and the Dalai Lama believe that the most important religious “rule” is to show love and compassion to all others. All throughout the engaging plot, there are religious discussions but they aren’t presented in a pretentious or stuffy way at all. Both the Pope and the Dalai Lama are shown as very calm, centered men and while they want to be ordinary for a while, they seem to have no objection to being questioned extensively by Paolo and particularly Rosa about their beliefs. The religious discussions, while an essential part of the book, don’t override the enjoyable plot. There’s the love story between Paolo and Rosa and the difficulties they’ve encountered in their marriage. There’s their daughter Anna Lisa and her unexpected news. And there’s the surprise encounter at the end of the book that may hopefully be leading the author to write a sequel. Comic moments abound and I had a smile on my face the whole time I was reading this delightful book.
This book was given to me by the publisher for discussion in the Goodreads Group “Keep Turning Pages”.