Orinio Opinaldo’s memoir, Apples in God’s Eye, is a personal story of a remarkable man. His life could be defined by its diversity: a teacher of rough, inner city students; world traveler; family man; and a seeker of God.
Encompassing all stages of Opinaldo’s life was his search for God and truth. Raised a Catholic, he initially adopted the views of that church. But through mystical experiences, traveling the world, worshipping at various churches, and his own quest, he arrived at a spiritual view that didn’t fit neatly into the box of any one church.
Opinaldo presents a collection of life stories, including some of his own poems and essays. Unlike most memoirs, his stories are arranged topically rather than chronologically and, thus, seem disjointed. For example, he includes a series of stories on his encounters with the police, another on how animals have influenced his life, and many anecdotes of people in his life who have died. Because of the topical presentation, various facts are unnecessarily repeated throughout the text, and the whole book — a daunting 570 pages — could have been shortened by editing out duplicate data.
Opinaldo’s individual stories and spiritual pursuits are riveting, but his lack of organization and editing make the book as a whole difficult to follow. It would be more powerful to learn about his spiritual journey by seeing it unfold as he lived it, rather than the circular way it is presented here. In its current state, Opinaldo’s book will be enjoyed by his family and friends, but to reach a wider audience, it requires considerable revision.
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