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Solvay author publishes second novel

Solvay author Anthony (Antonio) Casale finished his second book, The Last Chapter, in only 11 months.

How long did it take to write his first book, published in 2005? "Twenty years," he said, laughing. "But I shelved it for years."

Casale first began to think of writing during his years in college, but said he continually put the book on hold as other things came up. After years of living in the United States and finally retiring to just teaching at the university level, he said he found time to finish the book and have it published.

His latest book took much less time, and is based on his own experiences and research. "The Last Chapter focuses on the plight of the senior citizen in health institutions," Casale said, including their suffering and desire to live with the family, as well as the abuse and corruption that can go on there.

The basic plot is that a Canadian journalist is asked to investigate corruption in health care institutions, and after he is murdered, another journalist is asked to finish the book -- the last chapter.

While Casale did draw from his experiences volunteering in health care institutions, he was careful to say that the corruption and abuses he writes about are not things he experienced firsthand. "That came through research," he said.

The novel touches on more threads than just the health care of the elderly in Canada, however. Woven into the overlapping story is the tale of a Catholic Cardinal, excommunicated after getting married; and a love story between a narrator and his long-lost love. "There is a lot to it," he said. "But the messages the book contains are universal."

Casale's wife, Dina, said she had not read the books but laughed, adding that she feels she has already read them, as much as she has heard about them.

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