Local author Len Mattano announces the publication of his debut novel, "Celtic Crossing," by Paraclete Press on Sept. 17. Len and his wife are summer residents of East Boothbay.
Drawn on his experiences as a pediatric oncologist, this inspirational suspense story is about a grandmother and grandson who are the last of a long Irish lineage plagued by cancer. Now the boy lies dying, setting an historian priest and would-be seminarian off on a quest to find the ancient curing cross of St. Patrick in time to save the child. The journey of the relic across two millennia is gradually revealed as the search leads to Rome.
Family cancer syndrome was first described 50 years ago next month. The genetic basis of the condition was published in 1990, and one of the author's patients was a member of the key pedigree studied. While rare, the dramatic premise raises awareness of life-threatening diseases and the spiritual journeys of many.
The novel meets at the intersection of medicine and miracles, faith and grace, and ultimately forgiveness and love. Its release during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is a coincidence not lost on the author, who hopes that the novel will prompt readers to contemplate its universal themes.
The public is invited to meet the author and have copies signed at Meet & Greet events hosted by Sherman's Maine Coast Book Shops in Boothbay Harbor on Sept. 28 and in Damariscotta on Oct. 1. Both events begin at 1 p.m.