cover image Second Spring: A Love Story

Second Spring: A Love Story

Andrew M. Greeley. Forge, $24.95 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-0236-6

Greeley s irrepressible and fiercely liberal O Malley family carries on lustily in this sixth chronicle of their adventures. Charles (usually Chuck, often Chucky, and even Chucky Ducky, none of which names he objects to) is a former foreign ambassador under Jack Kennedy, a Ph.D. in economics and a world-famous photographer. Rosemarie, his wife, is a recovered alcoholic, now a successful New Yorker writer, but more important to her, a mom and grandma. Trading chapters, they describe their busy life in Rome in the late 1970s, where Chuck s role is to photograph the new pope. In 1978, there were three popes: Paul VI died; his successor, John Paul I, also expired, after only a brief period; and John Paul II, the first non-Italian pope in centuries, was elected. Greeley s knowledge of the intrigues and suspense behind the elections produces a graphic firsthand account (he is the author of the nonfiction book The Making of the Popes 1978). After the election, Chuck s career as a photographer (he refers to himself modestly as a fast-talking punk from the West Side of Chicago who takes pictures ) comes to the fore, as the Art Institute gives him a major show. The show is a success (despite or because of the scandal caused by an innocently revealing photo of Rosemarie), but Chuck is assailed by self-doubt, then nearly dies of pneumonia. In a sentimental but poignant scene, a serene, perhaps heavenly lady visits Chuck and reassures him that he is a good man. This is more comfort food for Catholics, though newcomers to the series may be taken aback by Chuck and Rosemarie s mildly explicit lovemaking. (Apr.)