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ABOUT THE BOOK (304 pages):

Experience a world of intrigue where science and religion

intertwine with colliding cultures, romance, and a worldwide

cataclysmic event.

Holy Fool, Holy Father is a stirring story of opposing forces

reconciling, and the ordinary rising to the extraordinary. It

begins in East Kazakhstan during the Soviet Union’s era of

glasnost and perestroika and progresses to its dramatic

conclusion in the Eternal City.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nicholas A. Marziani, Jr. is a married Roman Catholic priest and pastor, and holds the Doctor of Ministry degree from Trinity School of Ministry, Ambridge, PA, and undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering technology and marine studies, respectively. Besides ministerial activity with the Episcopal and Catholic churches he has held positions in higher education administration and as a secondary and college level instructor in science and comparative religion, respectively. He and his wife Joanne have three adult children and six grandchildren, and enjoy travel and study both domestic and abroad.
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I have not read a book like this before. It takes place in old Soviet Union after the Catholics have split from the Eastern Orthodox.Church
I had never heard of a person being a Holy Fool, I learned a lot about it throughout the book. 
Misha lived in a small village where he and his family practiced with the Eastern Orthdox, and thought the Catholics not worthy of being in power
Father Nikolai counseled Misha from a young age, he was there for him whatever came his way, they could talk together to figure things out. Misha, his parents and Father Nikolai knew there was something special about Misha. Misha began to learn what a Holy Fool was as it concerned the Holy Father's and what this all could mean in his life.
Misha met a girl during a school function where Misha won honors with his math, science, and physics knowledge. Anatasia won awards with her dancing and all the arts involved. Before they left each other Misha had Anastasis's address to write her, and he did. 
Once I got into this book it was very interesting, I would recommend it to all who like to read historical fiction, with some romance thrown in.
I received this book from Book Fun Club in exchange for an honest opinion.

I posted reviewws on Goodreads. Facebook, Amazon, Barnes & Nobel. CBD and Deeper shopping

Wow!  This was the best book I have read in a long time.  I have read a lot of really good books, but this one captured me like many others haven’t.  My emotions went up and down as different events in the book were unveiled.  I really though hard before I began to write the review for this fantastic book and did not feel like I could do the book justice, so I explored the website for the book and took the following from this website: 


 “Imagine a world where science and religion could no longer be held apart as opposing forces.  Or a time where it became essential for the Eastern Orthodox churches and the Church of Rome to breathe as one.” 


This book will help you:

--“understand why it’s the Holy Fool who ultimately holds sway over the world.”

--“Delve into the unspoken complexities of male and female relationships”

--“Gain access into the shadows and inner secrets of the Vatican” and

--“Explore a reconciliation between science and religion”


This book is all of the above and more.  What is a Holy Fool?  I was enlightened quickly as I read this book.  Can I be a Holy Fool?  Can you be a Holy Fool?  Pick up this book and read about Misha and Anastasia and their travels, their love for each other and their focus on listening to the Lord.  Travel with them from Kazakhstan to Russia to Rome and to the United States.  Live with them as they have to make some difficult decisions and how they, without restraint, follow where the Lord wants them to be.  And follow them as they live out the life that the Lord has led them to.   


I can only hope that as you read this review you will be as captivated as I was as I read this book.  I can only hope that you will want to rush out and purchase your own copy of this book and read it multiple times and enjoy it as much as I did. 


I was given this book by in exchange for my honest review.  Reviews have also been posted on Deeper Shopping, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Family Christian Bookstore and Good Reads.


This “coming of age” historical novel encompasses the challenges of finding one’s place in the world and making difficult decisions on the journey.  It’s the story of Misha, a brilliant scholar with a strong religious heritage in the Russian Orthodox Church, who was told that he had been chosen by God to have a special gift of premonition as to future events.  The storyline follows his life from that announcement by his Orthodox priest to his papal appointment in the Roman Catholic Church.


Throughout the story, Misha’s heart called him to reunite the Roman Catholic world with the Orthodox world and other religious persuasions.  Anastasia, his long-time friend and confidant, became his strong support especially when a major catastrophe occurred.  She encouraged him that he was ready to step into the gap and show the world that Christian faith still has the answers to meet life’s challenges.


This story is thought-provoking, the characters are believable and loving, there is an element of romance, and the book contains wonderful historical background which I found very interesting.  I recommend it to all readers.


I received this free book from Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.  This review is also posted on the Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites.

I received a copy of this book from book for an honest review

Misha is a young boy coming of age. He is struck by the things around him that he is noticing for the first time. As a young boy, he discovers that there are women who are not as innocent as he thought but learns that Jesus loves them the same and does not judge them. The priest he is with explains that sometimes, people grow up in an environment that is not always easy and must do things in order to survive. The author does a great job in taking us on a journey with Misha as he matures and experiences life. Misha is ultimately trying to find what his purpose is.

I loved the interaction between Misha and Father Nicholai. His guidance showed Misha that he was given a special gift from God. As Misha grows into manhood , he experiences feelings for a woman. The author writes this in a tender , thoughtful way that we can sense the relationship develop in a kind and pure way.

As the story unfolds, we find that they each have strong convictions and must make hard choices to stay true to their faith. It's refreshing to read a story about young people who have strong beliefs and the struggles they go through as they rely on God for direction. The story is rich in the history of Eastern Orthodox
Church and the Roman Catholic Church. I found myself intrigued by the differences and made the story more interesting as it delved into the struggles that people face with their beliefs.

It is a riveting story that keeps the reader interested and makes you think about where you are in your faith. It Is set in the 1990's and some have called it a "coming of age" story. Are we following our faith and living up to our potential?
Review has been posted on Librarything, Goodreads,, Amazon and my blog,

I must admit that I started and stopped reading this book several times before finally getting into it.  I knew little about the Eastern Orthodox Church and absolutely nothing about Holy Fools or iurodivye.  I could get that Holy Man Vickor was very Christ-like in his love for and association with sinners, but the whole walnut-eating and throwing was beyond my comprehension.  Also, one of the book’s greatest strengths, the poetic, atmospheric language, and the philosophical conversations about how the universe, math, science and theology are all tied together were daunting.  However, I heartily recommend taking the plunge and enjoying this very unique and absorbing book.  Don’t be frightened off by the splashes at the shoreline { or the first chapter)---jump in!

The lyrical language was meant to be savored and not rushed through.  An example of this rich imagery is his description of Father Nickolai: “. . . [his] whole being seemed to emit an energy that felt like the sun breaking over the horizon at daybreak during the first days of a Russian spring.  At such times the chill in the air is unable to quench the warm flux of grace-filled radiance that penetrates the early morning atmosphere, and pelts the earth with tokens of divine love.”  Wow!  Yet, there are also amusing touches: “. . . like a cooling oven, the glow that Misha perceived around the priest seemed to wane and dissipate.  The young man exhaled as he sat back on his chair, a stray splinter in the old wood reminding him that he was indeed in the realm of mortals.”

This is very much a story of a young man growing and maturing in his faith as he seeks to follow God’s plan for his life. Misha is a math and physics prodigy with a deep spiritual nature.  Father Nickolai, his priest, prophesized that he would be of great service in the courts of the Roman Catholic Church in Rome-- even though as Russian Orthodox, they believed the Roman Catholics had fallen off the one true faith. The many people who mentored Misha in his faith walk and his exploration of the world beyond the small Russian village of his birth are the heart of the book. Ah, and then there is the tender love story between Misha and Anastasia.  It is sweet and compelling and matched only by their passion to answer God’s call on their lives. What makes the book so very powerful and memorable are the choices Misha and Anastasia must make, and the incredible way God works all things according to his purposes.

Reviews left on Goodreads, Amazon and B&N.  couldn't find it on Deeper Shopping

I really enjoyed your review, Chris! 

This novel is different than most—offering insights into the religious experience of the Russian Orthodox as a main element in the story. The book follows the life of Misha from his teen years into adulthood and shows the hold God has on his life. It also shares his involvement with the lovely Anastasia. A provocative tale, it concludes with a phenomenal catastrophe, for which God has Misha at the right place at the right time. I enjoyed the story, and having grown up Roman Catholic helped with understanding. I wish all the Russian words were included in the list in the front but that didn’t detract from the drama. What did sometimes bring some confusion was the frequent POV changes. Nevertheless, I would recommend the story for its adventure on foreign soil and its hope that faith can change lives. I was given a copy through the BookClub Network ( in exchange for my honest opinion.

Holy Fool, Holy Father was an unexpected and contemplative historical fiction read. While I expected the focus to be on the cataclysmic event described on the back cover, it read more as a beautiful spiritual coming of age story. There was cataclysm for sure, but the major focus was on the faith story of the two eventual leaders of the crisis, Misha and Anastasia, set within the context of a historical and growing move toward Christian unity between Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Through rich, simple and honest storytelling, the author highlights the importance of spiritual mentorship and obedience to God’s call, even at the cost of great personal sacrifice and impact on our loved ones. The faith of all of the characters is robust, and I found my own faith being grown and strengthened during my reading of the book. I asked myself often while reading, “How willing am I to make choices in obedience to Christ when they make me seem like a fool to the world, my family, and even to other people of faith? Do I have eyes to see and ears to hear how God is moving in the world around me and asks me to join Him?”

Themes of sacrifice, courage, fidelity, spiritual gifts, calling, spiritual discipline, family, freedom unity, and listening to God abound. As I read, the advice of wise mentors in Misha’s life began to feel like gentle, cherished mentors of my own. I appreciate how the author, Nicholas A. Mariziani, Jr., is able to write about science, church history, saints and leaders of the church, and spiritual giftings in a digestible, yet rich way. I also appreciate how intimate the entirety of the book feels, like you have a secret window into conversations that shaped Misha and Anastasia, and helped them to shape history. I also appreciate the great respect accorded to the tradition of the Holy Fools and Holy Women, and learning about them both. I feel like this book is a hidden treasure about how God can use everyone and our every day, disciplined and awe-filled faith to show, call and equip us to join Him in His work in the world, just as happened with Misha and Anastasia. Their calling and work turned out to be very important indeed, and I'd invite a sequel!   

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review from The Book Club Network. The opinions are entirely my own.* I have also posted my review to Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Good Reads.

Holy Fool Holy Father by Nicholas Marziani was a story of Misha who went to a Russian Orthodox church and converted to Catholicism. The story follows him as he falls in love with a dancer who loved him, yet released him to his calling of being a priest. He traveled to Rome to be trained as clergy to work underground. When the girl he loved, Anastasia, asked him if he intended to become a priest, that he felt God had called him to do, was a defining moment for him. The woman who loved him was releasing him to his calling, not counting any longer the cost to herself. This book was interesting in that you learned a little about Russia, but I personally had a hard time getting into it. I got this book free through for my honest review, and will be posting my review on Amazon, GoodReads, and Deeper Shopping.

Title:  Holy Fool, Holy Father

Author:  Nicholas A. Marziani, Jr.

Pages:  304

Year:  2014

Publisher:  WC Publishing

My rating is 3 stars out of 5.

Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

When I requested a copy of this novel, I was aware of the theological view that would permeate the story.  The work of fiction was interesting due to the setting in Russia and also the many characters from either small villages or major cities.  Part of the novel focuses on a romance between two teenagers during a time of regional competition that involved many avenues of academia and the arts such as ballet.  Misha was from a small town with no name only a zip code, but very devout in his faith and a genius in many areas of math and science.  Anastasia studied and excelled in ballet with dreams of performing in Moscow with a premier company.

Throughout the novel, which is set in the late 1980s, and going forward, readers follow these two people as they become adults.  The family members of both young people are very involved in the lives of Misha and Anna as she was lovingly referred by both Misha and her family.  Misha was raised in the Orthodox faith whereas Anna was raised in a Catholic home.

Warning:  There is one scene toward the end of the book that could have easily been left out where Misha and Anna are in a hotel room exploring each other.  The scene though not explicit in description doesn’t add but actually impedes the story line besides being something I didn’t want to read.

Of course there is a heavy emphasis on the beliefs of the Catholic Church and some of the Orthodox faith as well.  I grew up in a Catholic home so was aware of the tenets of faith in the book; however, I was clueless as to the Orthodox belief system.  It would have been helpful had the author included a bibliography for readers to be able to learn more about the various belief systems espoused.  While I grew up in the Catholic Church, I later left and became a practicing Protestant.  Why I left is not pertinent to the review of the book, but just to let readers know of my knowledge of at least one of the belief systems.

If anyone chooses to read the book, please be aware of the heavy espousing of Catholicism much of which I cannot back up in the Bible.  This wasn’t a book I could easily sit down and enjoy due to the use of Russian words for which I had to return to the front of the book to remind myself what the meanings were.  The one aspect that would have been somewhat enjoyable to read more of in the work of fiction was the twist of the plot that brought the climax right before the end of the book.  Always read any book with the knowledge that only the Bible is 100% truth and from God 100% of the time.  (Not referring to the apoplectic books added to the Catholic Bible).

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

I have already posted a response on the website, but in quick summary I simply say that this reviewer's essential aversion to the faith system of her youth, ie. the Catholic Church, ill disposes her toward a fair evaluation of this book. The "exploring" scene she mentions is so tastefully handled that my own adult daughters - decent women with husbands and children - have, besides others, commented most favorably about it as it quickly leads to profound regret and repentance. One commentator said it nearly moved him to tears to note Misha's confession thereafter. And expecting a novel to provide a bibliography? That's a real first for me!

I won't belabor this, but one last thought. The commentator failed to mention she received the book as a gift in connection with the Book Fun Network on the Amazon site, which is a violation of their policies. 'Nuff said.

Holy Fool Holy Father is not an 'in one eye and out the other' kind of novel! There is an abundance of thought provoking information and illumination in this not quite 300 page novel by Nicholas A Marziani Jr. Insights into the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic faiths, traditions and celebrations are seen as the story of Misha and Anastasia unfolds. The story takes the reader from Kazakhstan to Rome in the last years of the USSR. Misha, a young man of the Orthodox faith is wise beyond his years and senses God's calling on his life but does not realize fully where that may ultimately lead him. A truly spiritual love and romance begins when he meets Anastasia, a beautiful young ballerina of the Catholic faith. Misha's journey to become a man of trust and faith is the backdrop for the consistent theme of unity and connections throughout the story. Connections of one's faith to dance, mathematics, religion, creation and ultimately to God and the need for unity of the Christian church. And as the story continues to unfold to the climactic ending, prophetic discernments from Misha's beloved mentors become reality and the sovereignty of God is revealed. The author does an excellent job of portraying human emotions, a mother who fears her son is losing his faith, a man who seeks forgiveness, a father who knows his son must follow his destiny and a young woman who loves with a love that can release the beloved. Fr. Marziani poignantly expresses basic tenets of the Christian faith. "As Christians we even believe in the ultimate example of holy fusion, the integration of the infinite divinity with very limited mortality in the incarnation of Jesus Christ." (p. 62) Holy Fool Holy Father is replete with significant themes of family, trust, forgiveness, determination, faith and fidelity and ultimately Foolishness, in that we as Christians are all called to be Fools for Christ. As the author asserts, "the Holy Fool is free indeed without affectation or the encumbrances that paralyze most men as willing victims of others' opinions of them." (p. 259) May each of us put off the fear of what others may think and follow God's leading in our lives.
I received a copy of this book through The Book Club Network ( in exchange for my honest review. I have posted reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble,,, and GoodReads.


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