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Book Reviews

Laure McCourt Lopez Book Review: "Ordinary Evil" by Gene Ferraro
By Laure McCourt Lopez
Nov 1, 2015 - 4:12:59 AM

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Through the passage of time, there have been secrets hidden in dark crevices, deeply rooted desires that have sought haven from exposure to the light of innocence and a stench of moral decay that oft leads one to believe that such depravity is non-existent. Such is an evil that society pretends to shun and dismiss yet these complex layers of the darker side of humanity have taken harbor in the pages of the writings of Gene Ferraro entitled Ordinary Evil. The opening pages reveal an ironic definition that sets the foundation for the unfolding of the tale: "Ordinary: adj, of no special quality or interest; commonplace; unexceptional. n, a bishop, archbishop or other priest or his deputy, in his capacity as an absolute church authority."

Via a series of vignettes revealing the various characters preparing to converge upon the stage, Ferraro introduces the reader to a host of individuals who are all touched by a common thread. The characters are as varied as the locales they represent; from the pomp and tradition of Rome to the local parishes of Massachusetts come young seminarians, parish families, soup kitchen volunteers, stalwart Vatican diplomats and Catholic clerics of varying personal convictions. Yet it is in the Prologue that we are introduced to one that carries with him seeds of deceit that will be spread along the path of many and will test the trust of those with whom he comes in contact.

Ordinary Evil explores corruption within the established hierarchy of the Catholic Church, reveals the destructive nature of clergy sexual abuse and examines the brokenness of individuals who are the recipients of this breach of trust. As the novel unfolds, seemingly unrelated events are interwoven to reveal a course of deceit and abuse of power that are the antithesis of Christian belief. Spanning the decades of the 60's and 70's, we are introduced to scandal and corruption that church lawyers fought desperately to hide.

A novel that is both riveting and engaging, Mr. Ferraro leads the reader through complex life stories and personal choices, both of which end in varying consequences. But it is through the unveiling of the story that the reader becomes most familiar with the faces of the young victims that sadly reminds us that this book of fiction is rooted in fact. With the revelations of a multitude of sinister acts upon the youngest church population, society has needed to face a darkness held in secret for too long. One will search for solutions to the pains of the past; Ordinary Evil will serve as a catalyst for dialogue and action. Where there was once pain and silence, let there be a voice of peace and renewal.

Laure McCourt Lopez

Gene Ferraro writes and produces presentations and events for businesses and organizations. He has worked in documentary film and taught motion picture production. He is a graduate of Bowdoin College, has an MFA from Columbia University, and also served as an officer in the US Army Signal Corps. He currently lives with his wife, JoAnn, in Andover, Massachusetts.

"Ordinary Evil"
By Gene Ferraro
iUniverse Publishing
Published Jan 31, 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1491704899
356 pages
Softcover $21
Hardcover $28
E-book $7

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