To the Heights: A Novel Based on the Life of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
by Brian Kennelly
Born to a wealthy family in Turin at the dawn of the 20th century, Pier Giorgio Frassati was good-looking, popular and athletic. He spent much of his youth climbing the rugged Italian Alps, disappearing into the clouds for days at a time. He was quick with a joke or a prank and enjoyed a good time. It seemed he was blessed with everything a young man could ask for.
But he hungered for more.
Despite coming from a family of such prestige, Pier Giorgio spent most days in the slums of Turin, visiting the poor and serving the sick. His love for Christ burned within him and brushed off on everyone he came into contact with – from lepers and orphans to college friends and political diplomats. He shared his Faith with kindness and charity, and defended it passionately against the evils of Fascism, even coming to blows with Mussolini’s thugs on numerous occasions.
Pier Giorgio touched the lives of thousands, yet his high-society parents remained unmoved by the life he led as they frowned upon his religious practices and charitable work. Reaching them would be his last challenge, his final mountain to climb.
To the Heights is an unforgettable novel about Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. Dig deeper than the biographical facts and discover the heart of a charismatic young man whose soul blazes brightly and uniquely among the host of heaven.
This book offers a look into the life of an incredible man. Unlike a lot of saints and those on the path to sainthood, Pier Giorgio Frassati lived in the early part of the 20th Century which means there is a lot known and documented about his life. The writer did a good job of keeping to the facts but making the book feel more like a story than a dry biography. The reader is able to get a wonderful sense of Pier Giorgio through this book, which at times almost felt like a collection of inspiring short stories.
Frassati was from Italy, born into a wealthy family. This young man loved his faith and spent his short life caring for others. Even at an early age Pier Giorgio went out of his way to assist others and make them feel special. Sadly, his parents did not share his values so it was a constant struggle for him to stay focused on his faith without their support.
Frassati was a popular young man who touched many people in very powerful yet simple ways. This is the big lesson from this book. We all have the ability to help those in need, pray for others, and be kind to everyone we meet. Often saints seem to be people who did really incredible things, but this book is a great example of how everyone can truly make a difference.
Unfortunately, Frassati did not live a long full life. He died at an early age from polio. As mentioned earlier, while he was alive, his family did not share his love for the Catholic church but through his death and finding out how many people he had touched, they did grow in their faith.
This is a beautiful story of one man’s ability to make a huge difference to those around him. A treasure for Catholic families.
A note from Reviewer:
As a writer and a mother, I’m always searching for wonderful Christian books for teens of all ages. I truly believe one way we can encourage teens in their faith is through fiction with positive messages, embedded in great stories. There are many fantastic Christian and Catholic teen novels out today but they can be hard to find. I’m excited to share some of these books with you.