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Deer in the Fields of Venice



Young Father Maurice Lamoreaux’s emotional shell breaks open to the feminine beauty of Italy’s sister cities—Rome, Florence, and Venice—when he consents to accompany an ex-student and his father on a holiday tour. Jim’s wife left him and his son Cam just before the family vacation, and Jim feels Father Maurice will be a good companion for Cam at this confusing juncture in their lives. Cam is not only grappling with his mother’s sudden absence but also with his sexual identity as a young gay man about to enter college. Enthralled by his perception of the three sister cities as women who share their secrets with him, Father Maurice is also drawn to Isabelle, a perceptive young photographer and dominatrix with a dark past who understands the unexplored regions of the clergyman’s life. Each broken member of the tour experiences what these cities offer in the way of solace and transformation, bolstered by Italy’s delicious cuisine and fine wine.

Zultowski’s lush, lyrical prose offers observations that can only emerge from the philosophical exploration of metaphor and poetics. He manages to keep the story meandering in a relaxed, though cerebral, way as the tourists observe one another while experiencing the discretely different cities. The emotional stew created between the lines is anything but bland or sunny. The story arc rises like steam from a slow-cooking kettle until the boiling point of a perhaps inevitable denouement explodes. The travelers all experience personal epiphanies as people often do when leaving their home country behind, but only Jim seems to lose his way with his unresolved anger toward his wife and his deep discomfort with Cam’s blooming sexuality. The novel is at once a coming-of-age story, a family drama, and a suspenseful spiritual mystery that explores faith, love, and physical passion.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Citrus Fruits

"It is a beautifully crafted novel that takes the reader on an emotional journey through Italy. The main character, Father Maurice Lamoreaux, is a man of strong faith who finds himself challenged and transformed by his experiences on a tour of Rome, Florence, and Venice. Throughout the story, Father Maurice is faced with the complexities of human relationships, including love, friendship, and loss… a heartwarming and thoughtprovoking novel that takes the reader on an emotional journey through Italy. The themes of love, friendship, and loss are woven seamlessly into the story, making it a must-read for anyone who appreciates a well-crafted and deeply moving tale.”

“Deer In the Fields of Venice is a heart-warming book by D.M Zultowski every line has a deeper meaning to decipher. … Refreshing read and highly recommended.”


“A must-read for anyone who loves a good travelogue with a touch of self-discovery. The author has done a fantastic job of painting the surroundings with beautiful words, making the story come alive.” 


“This book shares a fresh perspective of dropping all your fears. This journey of selfrealization through the rollercoaster ride of emotions and beautiful scenaries is overwhelming. I liked reading this book and would recommend this book to all.”

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“As a picky reader, I was made to read this book because many readers in my book club kept recommending it and I wanted to know what it was all about. D.M. Zultowski has created a truly special and memorable story in Deer in the Fields of Venice.”


 “Zultowski skillfully and poetically probes the depths of a lonely soul in search of selfacceptance and self-realization. … This book forces you to think deeply while still keeping you interested until the very last page. The book's idea is intriguing, captivating, and original. .. The narration and the plot go quite quickly. Additionally, the storytelling approach is fantastic and may completely captivate readers.”

“Deer in the Fields of Venice by D M Zultowski takes readers on an unforgettable journey through the vibrant cities of Italy, while exploring themes of faith, self-discovery, and the power of human connection. The story revolves around Father Maurice Lamoreaux, a man deeply rooted in his faith and committed to his role as a teacher. However, when his former student, Cam, confides in him with a secret, Maurice's world is turned upside down, challenging his beliefs and opening doors to self-reflection.” 


"Deer in the Fields of Venice is a heartfelt and thought-provoking novel that will resonate with readers who appreciate a well-crafted story that delves into the complexities of human nature and the transformative power of travel and connection. The author has crafted a beautiful tale that captures the essence of Italy and the profound impact it can have on those willing to open their hearts to its magic.”

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