A priest struggles with the contradictions between his calling and his sexuality. "Jesus instructed us to forgive those who have wronged us seventy times seven times," Brother Vito Fortunato teaches the boys in his high school religion class, but it's Vito himself who has the most trouble with forgiveness: trying to forgive the Church, the gay community, and most of all, himself. Just a few months from his final vows as a Brother in the Catholic Church, Vito finds himself at a crossroads, torn between his spirituality and his sexuality. Will a summer of volunteer work at an AIDS centre in San Francisco - and a love affair with Gabriel, a recently divorced landscaper - help Vito decide his calling and his future? "Seventy Times Seven" is a poignant, sexy, funny, and romantic novel set in the early 1990s about a young man's struggle to integrate his religious beliefs with his sexual desires. The gap between sexuality and spirituality is punctuated throughout the novel with quotes from the Scripture, and from song lyrics from Prince and Madonna, artists who merged the two worlds in provocative and groundbreaking fashion.
Vito struggles too, with the idealism that drives his desire to change the archaic ways of the Catholic Church and its views on AIDS and homosexuality. Sal Sapienza's first novel, "Seventy Times Seven", is an entertaining and enlightening look at the struggle many gay men experience as their try to reconcile their religion with their sexual natures.
"Blessed with epiphanies, the protagonist Vito chooses to celebrate his desire, reminiscent of Whitman's Song of Myself. Sapienza's candour and his unstuffy prose make Seventy Times Seven a believable story of salvation, worthy of being read non-stop." - Scott Bailey"