|About the Book|
Give me chastity and self-restraint, but not just right now.The Confessions of Saint Augustine Jesus instructed us to forgive those who have wronged us seventy times seven times, Brother Vito Fortunato teaches the boys in his high schoolMoreGive me chastity and self-restraint, but not just right now.The Confessions of Saint Augustine 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 its 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 as a fully out and proud gay man. Will a summer of volunteer work at an AIDS center in San Franciscoand a love affair with Gabriel, a recently divorced landscaperhelp Vito decide his callingand his future?Seventy Times Seven is a poignant, sexy, funny, and romantic novel set in the early 1990s about a young mans 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.An excerpt from Seventy Times Seven: Come on, lets go in, Tim implored outside the Christopher Street video store. Itll be a riot. I know youre a Brother, but you dont have to do anything, just watch. But, whatever you do, dont make me laugh. Theyre hardcore in there.Tim has always been able to persuade me to take risks. He took me into my first gay bar, Uncle Charlies in the Village, when I was seventeen years old (the legal drinking age in New York was eighteen at the time, so we didnt look out of place). Two years later, we snorted coke off of his Barneys credit card in the bathroom of the Roxy. He later was a part of my first threesome experience with some guy we met at the Spike. There was one risk, however, that Tim was unsuccessful in persuading me to take, and that was leaving religious life. Taking me into the video store that night required little effort on his part.Sal Sapienzas 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.