I See the Branch of an Almond Tree (an early version of The Blood of Saints) was selected as a top 100 semi-finalist in the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. Notable reviews include:
Elegiac… Both Salvatore and David hunger for connection, but miscommunication and misunderstanding condemn them to always orbit just out of each other’s reach. This is a beautiful and haunting story of fathers and sons and the sometimes irrevocable choices made in an instant. The author’s spare, lyrical style is well suited to a novel dealing in themes of faith, loss, grief and guilt, and the difficult love between fathers and sons.
— Publishers Weekly
This has a beautiful, mesmerizing quality to it — the pacing, the language, the events it describes — all are under immaculate control. The combination of Catholic mythology, the town’s mythology, personal mythology for Salvatore, all combine to create a powerful sense of the world the story takes place in and the direction of the novel.
— Alexander Chee, author of Edinburgh
…I See the Branch of an Almond Tree commences with such authority and grace that it hardly seems the work of a debut novelist. There is a great weight in the tenderness and simplicity of the voice of the narrator. It has gravitas without any sacrifice of beauty. I love this selection for the world it has me enter. And I want more.
— Victoria Redel, author of Loverboy and The Border of Truth