Editorial Review: Straight To The White House by Amerigo Merenda
Eric is a young man destined for greatness, but on his path to success, he battles with repressed childhood trauma and the insecurities that stem from it.
The title of Straight to The Whitehouse by Amerigo Merenda makes it very clear that the protagonist, Eric, has a bright future ahead of him. With his good looks and charm, Eric could have had anything, but surprisingly he chooses the path of becoming a Jesuit priest. However, things become a little more complicated when Eric enters a catholic seminary only to meet and find himself attracted to a beautiful young woman named Michelle. This comes as a surprise to Eric, who has been battling with insecurities concerning his sexuality for most of his life. Eric’s life takes another unexpected turn when he is drafted into the army during the Vietnam War. Despite being given the option to avoid this, he chooses to fulfill his duty despite all the risks. During the war, Eric realizes what is most important to him, and with the aid of his mentor, a Jesuit priest, as well as his family and Michelle, he sets out on a new path.
Straight To The Whitehouse is a novel that deals with a lot of heavy topics, such as sexual abuse, religion, war, and politics, but the overall tone is very optimistic and positive. Eric has his fair share of psychological demons to deal with but continues to persevere even in the face of adversity. His search for his true identity is also something that all readers can identify with, and the story offers a new perspective on familiar topics such as religion and politics. Throughout his journey, Eric remains steadfast in his beliefs, which makes it gratifying to see him overcome adversity and continue to grow as a person. Along the way, Eric also forges new friendships, but his interactions with Michelle, his parents, and his old mentor are the most heartwarming.
Many books about war and politics focus on the horrors and corruption of both, but as mentioned earlier, Straight To The Whitehouse has a more positive tone. While the story does contain elements of both, it neither glorifies nor dwells on these aspects too much. Instead, the focus remains on Eric and how he deals with the life-changing events that he experiences.
Overall, Straight To The Whitehouse is a story that deals with a lot of elements but never feels muddled. The straightforward writing style makes it easy to get drawn into the story, and Eric does a lot of introspection, which makes it feel like readers are on his journey with him. The supporting cast of characters also all have impactful roles and provide Eric with a lot of help and guidance along the way. Readers who are used to the gritty and pessimistic way some of the topics featured in this book are usually covered might find it a little too sanguine for their tastes. However, readers who want to get invested in a good story with likable characters and fresh perspectives on historically significant topics should definitely add Straight To The Whitehouse to their reading lists.