What happens when the Pope and the Dalai Lama decide they need a secret vacation? Roland Merullo's playful, eloquent, and life-affirming novel finds the world's two holiest men teaming up for an unsanctioned road trip through the Italian countryside-where they rediscover the everyday joys and challenges of ordinary life. During the Dalai Lama's highly publicized official visit to the Vatican, the Pope suggests an adventure so unexpected and appealing that neither man can resist: they will shed their robes for several days and live as ordinary men. Before dawn, the two beloved religious leaders make a daring escape from Vatican City, slip into a waiting car, and are soon traveling the Italian roads in disguise. Along for the ride is the Pope's neurotic cousin and personal assistant, Paolo, who-to his terror-has been put in charge of arranging the details of their disappearance. Rounding out the group is Paolo's estranged wife, Rosa, an eccentric entrepreneur with a lust for life, who orchestrates the sublime disguises of each man. Rosa is a woman who cannot resist the call to adventure-or the fun. Against a landscape of good humor, intrigue, and spiritual fulfillment, The Delight of Being Ordinary showcases the uniquely charming sensibilities of author Roland Merullo. Part whimsical expedition, part love story, part spiritual search, this uplifting novel brings warmth and laughter to the universal concerns of family life, religious inspiration, and personal identity-all of which combine to transcend cultural and political barriers in the name of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
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