Reviews

"Wistfully beautiful . . . one woman’s heart-rending journey toward faith . . . a priest’s quest to find a relic. Celtic Crossing opens our eyes to the possibility of miracles and what it truly means to have faith."

John Jude Palencar, master American artist for Game of Thrones – A Song of Ice and Fire calendar, The Inheritance Cycle, The Lord of the Rings, and others


“A vast tapestry of inter-woven stories that link the past with the present, the saint with the sinner, the living with the dead, Celtic Crossing invites the reader on a quest to find the true Cross. To read this novel is to embark on a pilgrimage that takes us to an unexpected and holy place.”

Suzanne M. Wolfe, award-winning novelist, author of A Murder by Any Name, The Confessions of X, and Unveiling


"Len Mattano’s brilliantly researched story transports the reader between ancient and modern places and times. Despite betrayal, loss and fear, his characters fight to preserve their faith, even when overwhelmed by the helplessness and desperation that comes when a child is diagnosed with cancer. While humanity struggles to understand why a loving God allows such things, Mattano’s messengers offer God’s miraculous gifts of faith, hope, love, belonging and the wisdom that the path home lies through him."

Kathleen Ruddy, CEO, St. Baldrick's Foundation | Conquer Childhood Cancers


“Celtic Crossing, Len Mattano’s first novel, is a fascinating and captivating read, with marvelous historical and literary detail. The carefully interwoven plots riveted my interest and maintained a rapidly engaging pace throughout. The novel is simultaneously a tale of a disabling family tragedy and an urgent quest for a life-altering, missing relic dating back to the very foundation of Christianity. In tracing the mysterious path of the cherished relic from the Crucifixion to medieval Ireland and the Vatican, Mattano weaves a story of faith under challenge, new-found love, faith redeemed, and ultimately the resiliency and healing power of the human soul. For a refreshing touch of spiritual reawakening, reward yourself with Celtic Crossing.”

Raymond J. Hutchinson, MS, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Michigan


"I loved the book! Very well written...clearly it had been researched thoroughly. I very much enjoyed the back-and-forth of past and present and would recommend this book without reservation. Well done, Len!"

Gregory P. Bontrager, President & Chief Operating Officer, American Cancer Society (retired)


"Len Mattano’s breakout novel is exhilarating for those who enjoy suspense tales and are searching for a genuinely inspiring story. Celtic Crossing weaves together the Christian messages of hope and healing with a cast of endearing, believable characters drawn together on quest to help a sick child at a time of crisis. As the story unfolds, those involved are forced to confront their individual struggles, their belief in the reality of God, and their relationship with God. Like many in today’s world, Len’s characters discover the unending love that God has for each of us and all of us. This is a story that will cause sleepless nights as readers turn just one more page—over and over—being drawn with the characters into their own spiritual journeys."

Rev. Thomas F. X. Hoar, SSE, PhD, President and CEO, St. Edmund's Retreat, Enders Island, Mystic CT

Publishers Weekly | 9-12-2019

Mattano makes a moving debut with this story set in contemporary Ireland that weaves together ecclesiastical lessons and stories from the New Testament. Father Kevin Schaeffer is a Jesuit academic from Boston hoping to capitalize on the success of his first book, and possibly a second, to relieve him of the academic life. While he is on sabbatical in Ireland, [Aideen] Callaghan, a grandmother whose grandson is dying from leukemia, brings to Schaeffer’s attention a mystery he cannot resist: the existence of a cross known to heal generations of the Callaghan family of the cancers they seem cursed to be afflicted with. His research, rooted within his strong faith in God and belief in [Aideen’s] story, becomes an attempt to locate the cross and save Michael’s life and draws Schaeffer deep into the past. He digs into the lives of Mary from Magdala; Mary, the mother of Jesus; and eventually the stories of Irish patron Saints Patrick and Brigid, guardians of the holy healing relic, while tracking the historical and geographical movement of the cross. Featuring a passionate sleuth and God-graced relic, Mattano’s scripture-heavy tale will be of interest to faith readers who enjoyed The Da Vinci Code but prefer lower stakes.

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