Grief can do terrible things to us. It can hold us still in time and skew our perspective. That is the case with William Maldonado, who grieves the loss of his father as a child to war; the loss of his mother as a young adult to an illness; the loss of an opportunity to pursue a doctoral degree, and the loss of his professional reputation to an accusation of committing insurance fraud. Subterranean sorrow leads Maldonado to make wrong-minded decisions that eventually lead him to prison and then to a half-way-house. One day, as he tries to understand his grief, he blames the world, and, in particular, a former business partner. Full of rage, he returns to the city where he experienced his deepest wounds. Upon his return, he discovers that his former business partner, now a Pentecostal minister, emerged unscathed from the insurance fraud scandal that sent him fleeing for a decade. That discovery thrusts Maldonado on a path of revenge and into the roiling world of church politics, where he joins a secession group that wants to fire his former partner. It takes the whims of fate and new friendships for Maldonado to experience clarity of purpose.
Luis Perez is the pastor of the Rhinebeck Reformed Church in Rhinebeck, New York. He graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Yale Divinity School, Jersey City State College (currently New Jersey City University), and the Jersey City Public Schools. He lives with his family in the Hudson Valley, New York.