Uplifting and engrossing…
In this intimate and entertaining debut, LaGreca shares his spiritual journey of finding his true calling while growing up in Bronx in a large Catholic Italian family and living through his oldest brother’s drug addiction. Being a sensitive Italian-American child with a mild temperament, LaGreca found it hard to fit in with his older brothers’ stereotypical “Italian male” image and channeled his insecurities into a sketchpad and crayons to find solace. He left home to pursue acting in Hollywood after discovering that it was something he loved with passion. He found fair success in his acting career and was able to land significant roles in various films, TV, and theatrical productions. Unable to find peace of mind, he left Hollywood to pursue the life of a missionary in one of the strictest orders of the Catholic Church. There, his meetings with Mother Teresa gave him a new perspective about God’s place in his life. In the course of trying to become a missionary, LaGreca tried to upend his own expectations of his true calling while pushing himself to the psychological and emotional brink. He left “emotionally-draining” Church order, and it wasn’t until many years later that he finally came to terms with his brother’s addictions and realized his own place in the bigger scheme of things. LaGreca writes in simple yet effective prose, his questions about faith and religion are both earnest and insightful, and his ability to look for a common ground while talking about religion will sit well with devotees and non-believers at once. He writes candidly about the draining episodes of his brother’s drug-induced manic episodes and emotional outbursts, touching passages about his parents’ affection and love, his family’s close-knit bond, and there are stories of mental and sexual harassment in the big, bright world of Hollywood, his close friendships with other actors, and later missionaries from the church, reflections on being in the “strictest Church order,” and particularly affecting passages about his coming to terms with his true calling. LaGreca’s perceptions are clear, and he doesn’t shy away from admitting his failures that he encountered during the course of his long-lasting spiritual journey. The stunning black and white family pictures are pleasant to the eyes. This heartwarming look at the life of a man trying to find his own place in the world is effortlessly charming. Readers will be irresistibly drawn into LaGreca’s earnest and poignant journey.
The Boy Behind the China Cabinet
A Memoir about Addiction, Hollywood, Mother Teresa and Me
By Paul LaGreca
Pub date June 7, 2020
Price $14.99 (USD) Paperback, $19.99 Hardcover, $7.35 Kindle edition
Categories: Non Fiction