Valentino Bellamorte thought he had the perfect life. A sober, wealthy environmental lawyer on Cape Cod, he owned a beachfront home and yacht, was engaged to a mysterious Southern belle named Kim and he was a celebrated marathoner. And then came New Year's Day 2000, when he wanted to kill himself. Angry and selfish, Val returns to his drinking when his fiance is murdered, his mother dies and his father blames him. This handsome, rich lawyer finds himself out at sea about to commit suicide when he can no longer take the pain. Val is rescued in a tragically comic scene, then, a fishing trip to New Mexico leads to a spiritual experience and certainty about what he needs to do next. He stops practicing law and becomes emersed in the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Val takes a job in a supermarket, begins a rewarding, unlikely friendship with an octogenarian suffering from Parkinson's Disease named Nettie, who helps Val renew the relationship with his father, which is symbolized by an unforgettable day of fishing. She also helps Val forgives himself for Kim's and his mother's death. He returns to running and metaphorically sheds his past at the Falmouth Road Race. In this extraordinary first novel, Michael Tempesta takes us on Val's life-saving spiritual odyssey. We laugh, we experience pain, we discover renewed hope and inspiration. Though Val does not think it possible, he finds true love with Alexandra, who shares his passion for opera, and his father finds companionship, too. Ultimately, Val realizes helping other people, not amassing financial wealth, is what makes a man truly rich. The truth sets him free.
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