Praise for Rich Marcello's Work

This semi-romantic, semi-post-apocalyptic novel spins an electrifying tale of love, loss, friendship, and activism in a climate-challenged near future America. Old-flame best friends Tereza and David seek each other’s companionship after a deadly “microburst” in a thunderstorm claims the lives of their partners and kids. For eighteen months of loss and loneliness, Tereza sleeps with men to substitute for her dead husband, Luke, while David drinks too much in pursuit of continued fidelity to his dead wife, Anna. Eventually, Tereza comes back to David’s life, and they both find what they need to deal with grief. Marcello’s narrative is compelling as it captures these complex protagonists’ raw desperation and need as they face life bereft of their companions. The novel’s first half is particularly gripping, with Marcello employing flashbacks with much haunting imagery, enriching the flow of the narrative present rather than disrupting it, and offering an intoxicating take on the storm’s aftermath, as Tereza and David are haunted by ghosts of the past. Romance is in question throughout. While Tereza resists the idea of new love, David’s feelings are more ambiguous, as he’s harbored a lifelong love for Tereza, which Marcello utilizes to draw a laser-sharp focus on the theme of environmental activism, highlighting how the duo’s unconventional dynamic mobilizes their anguish. Soon, they’re spearheading a sustainable community called Keeping to counter the climate crisis. The Means of Keeping offers something rare in climate fiction: persuasive hope. Takeaway: Touching story of non-platonic friendship, loss, and grief amid climate disaster. Comparable Titles: Charlotte McConaghy’s Migrations, Meg Little Reilly’s We are Unprepared.

Publishers Weekly Booklife

A moving cli-fi novel exploring the physical, psychological, and interpersonal issues that accompany the climate crisis The Means of Keeping is complex, emotional, and stuffed with fun, obscure pop-culture references, from Radiohead and Elliott Smith to films that David and Tereza are both drawn to. Its complexity, as well as the fact that it spans almost an entire lifetime, makes it read almost like multiple books. As a whole, it adds up to more than the sum of its parts. The will-they-wont they of David and Tereza’s relationship acts as the glue binding this book together. Rich Marcello’s The Means of Keeping falls easily under the climate fiction umbrella, but a literary bent pervades along with a complex, less-steamy multipart romance that will keep the reader guessing. And this is where The Means of Keeping breaks the mold of other cli-fi novels before it: The focus on love, on relationships, and the battle between the practical and emotional in a world striving to survive.

The Independent Book Review

The Means of Keeping by Rich Marcello takes readers on a profound journey that brings together real-world climate issues and the fictional world. As readers follow the journey of best friends David and Tereza, they will experience a compelling contemporary fiction that discusses poignant social, political, and economic topics through an immersive story. A standalone book that leaves a lasting impact on the reader. The Means of Keeping is a book that effortlessly brings together real-world crises and the fictional world. Marcello will have readers pondering what they want out of life and for future generations when venturing into this new contemporary fiction.

The Book Review Directory

Readers will immediately recognize Marcello’s professionalism in his writing. His sentences are fluid without laboring or being overly stylized. He strives to create complex characters and situations with real-world emotions and implications. David and Tereza are multi-faceted characters who will engage and affect the readers. The concluding chapter is exceptionally well-conceived and touching and will move the audience. Readers concerned with climate change who are looking for a story that explores how it can drastically change lives may find this book is just what they are looking for. Some will likely list it as a favorite book of the year.––

The US Review of Books

Loved it! An emotive, intimate and often powerful drama placed against the backdrop of climate change. The Means of Keeping is set in a near-future America and follows lifelong friends Tereza Allard and David Luca, who are devastated by a climate crisis-induced tragedy that claims the lives of their families. As they navigate their profound loss, the story poignantly captures the intersections of love, renewal, environmental activism, and the quest for meaning in a world teetering on the brink of irreversible damage. The narrative style weaves the introspective depth reminiscent of Kazuo Ishiguro with the environmental consciousness of Barbara Kingsolver. It is designed for readers who seek not only a compelling story but also a reflection on the broader issues facing our world today. With its haunting prose and evocative imagery, the novel invites us to envision a future where love, resilience, community, and a strong commitment to our planet guide us towards regaining our collective humanity.

Reedsy Discover

Marcello’s prose is elegant and evocative, capturing the nuances of human emotions with sensitivity and depth. Through David and Tereza’s journey towards healing and acceptance, Marcello explores the transformative power of grief and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. Marcello deftly intertwines this personal struggle with the looming backdrop of the climate crisis, infusing the narrative with urgency and relevance. The environmental challenges mirror the characters’ internal turmoil, emphasizing the interconnectedness of personal and global crises. The narrative prompts readers to reflect on how individual experiences intertwine with broader societal issues, urging collective action in the face of adversity. The novel unfolds at a measured pace, allowing readers to immerse themselves in the characters’ inner thoughts, emotions, and relationships. While some readers might find the slow pace and focus on internal reflections challenging, Marcello’s profound examination of characters’ emotions, motivations, and relationships results in an immersive and thought-provoking experience. A beautifully crafted novel that delves into the depths of grief, love, and resilience with grace and insight.

The Prairies Book Review

Five Stars and a Golden Quill award. From its tour de force opening chapters, The Means Of Keeping is brilliantly constructed in both writing flair and narrative. It’s a rollercoaster of a read that will hit all the right buttons and is an unreservedly recommended Golden Quill read. A genuinely affecting read that approaches its key themes of grief and climate change with intelligence, maturity, and a rare sense of authenticity. The Means Of Keeping is contemporary literary fiction at its very best.


With a beautiful, complex relationship between Tereza and David at the novel’s heart and the terrifyingly familiar scenario of climate disaster as the setting, The Means of Keeping is a real feat. Marcello’s meditations on the climate crisis are deftly communicated through an interpersonal web that feels lived in, moving, and, most important, real. It’s rare when platonic love is the centerpiece of a novel, and it’s also rare when a novel intelligently and empathetically engages with our responsibilities as citizens to the planet. The Means of Keeping does both.

–Rebecca Givens Rolland, author of The Art of Talking with Children

Cenotaphs is a beautiful, timely, powerful novel. I read it slowly, savoring each scene. Its elegance, intelligence, poignancy, and humanity remind me of Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See.––Mark Spencer, author of An Untimely Frost

Cenotaphs is a masterful, moving meditation on loss and moving forward, and on the possibility of transcendence. But it’s the characters and their voices that will keep haunting me, so much so that I know readers will return to them time and again, as if they’re long lost members of a family.—Rebecca Givens Rolland, author of On the Refusal to Speak

Cenotaphs is an achingly poignant tale of love and loss, and for its protagonist Ben, how the two are intimately intertwined. In the course of this short novel, classic betrayal and unfathomable loss birth the most unexpected platonic love, and in doing so, show us the power of forgiveness. Marcello’s writing is elegant and lyrical and through a complex web of extremes, Cenotaphs cleverly reminds us that nothing is meant to last forever.––Mark E Sorenson, author of A Restaurant in Jaffa

Cenotaphs unfolds organically, the reader hit by each wave of character revelation until submerged in their trauma. It’s a powerful monument to forgiveness and the struggle to accept one’s self. Each character is well-drawn, and it’s a testament to Marcello’s skill that he can voice feelings which, for lesser authors, might emerge as trite sentimentality. Ben and Samantha feel fully realized, their psychic wounds profoundly awful, devastatingly immediate, and heartbreakingly believable. A profound treatise on healing, presented through unforgettable characters. ––blueink review

Cenotaphs by Rich Marcello is a gripping piece of fiction you won’t be able to put down.  A treasured gem that you will want to read time and time again.  Intelligent, poignant and thought-provoking, and a definite five stars! This isn’t just a story for ‘story’s sake.’ Besides being a fascinating story about two hurting people coming together in a loving way, this is a tale about life.  More importantly it’s about choices and connections.  It is very philosophical, delving deep into human responses and why we function the way we do.  It’s a stirring and contemplative read, a book that makes you think.  This is a novel I am sure people will read several times over their lifetime, and upon each read will take away something new. ––Artisan Book Reviews

One of the finest aspects of this novel is how it tackles the relationships between Ben and his old friend Marianne, and then his new friend Sam. Both of these relationships are fascinating follows, teetering between the lines of all possible relationships you can have with another person, so it’s hard to describe exactly where they both fall. There are sometimes physical attractions, sometimes not. Both bonds seem stronger than the one he created with his wife of two or three decades, built on trust, honesty, and friendship. Marcello kindly asks the reader to put aside their preconceived ideas of what a relationship can be, and to accept things as they are in this story. It’s a type of control I’m happy to give up during the reading of Cenotaphs––Independent Book Review

A compelling novel that perfectly captures the unscripted events and coincidences of real life, where you can do your utmost best, and the unimaginable still happens. A novel in which we quickly come to grips with who the characters are and what their lives are like with Marcello writing with such directness and a fine ear for everyday dialogue that his characters seem real and plausible in just a few brief words.  Cenotaphs proves a superb release for Marcello and a must-read for discerning readers of top-notch literary fiction. It is recommended without reservation. ––Bookviral Reviews

Overall, the novel (Cenotaphs) focuses on the theme of finding and accepting love, specifically platonic love, after extreme misfortunes and loss. I personally enjoyed the many deep interludes about love that were spread throughout these pages. For example, Ben stated, “My greatest learning is this – love people exactly as they are, flaws and all, for as long as they grace your life. We don’t get do-overs, do we?”. I appreciated the profoundness of this statement as well as the many that followed. They are both contemplative and engaging, drawing readers to reflect on their lives and how they can love those around them better. ––The San Francisco Book Review

Cenotaphs is a thoughtful, if diffuse, examination of platonic love; the ways we close ourselves off in order to avoid pain and what happens when we open ourselves up again.  Imbued with emotion, empathy, acceptance, and an essential understanding of the complicated bond of love between two adults, this deeply intimate, emotionally charged tale is a winner. Lovers of literary fiction won’t want to miss this one.––The Prairies Book Review

Rich Marcello’s writing is necessary. During the times of uncertainty, we faced over the two years the global pandemic lasted, many tumbled down the rabbit hole head first and stuck firm with their “truths” while others sank into a state of deep contemplation about any and everything. Rich Marcello falls into the latter group. Each chapter is rich with the understanding of the human condition extending beyond the personal. The questions posed are relatable; many of us sat in the spaces we were confined to and ruminated on the exact same things. Politics, philosophy, love. Rich Marcello taps into the intricacies of human nature without becoming overly contrived. He reigns in his story several lengths before it falls into the pitfall of losing its meaning, losing its potency. This book is exactly as long as it needs to be. Reading it feels like checking in on one’s own humanity. It is chicken soup for the soul. ––Booknerdiction Must Read

Marcello is especially good at presenting perspectives that embrace both the aging process and the evolution of a special brand of wisdom that allow Ben unexpected flexibility and understanding later in life. Sam and Ben are on track to be completely honest with one another – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Their relationship, revelations, and the impact of their choices both in the past and with each other create a powerful story of love, loss, and how friendships and connections evolve. This will attract audiences interested in the aging process and the value of love in later life. Thought-provoking, poignant, and psychologically gripping, Cenotaphs offers a satisfying emotional inspection that is revealing and passionate: a rare glimpse into platonic love, friendship, and later-life changes. ––The Midwest Book Review
Marcello’s prose is quietly gorgeous. The rhythm of his words will wrap you up in the character’s love and soothe you like a lullaby. Everyone should read Cenotaphs, because Ben and Samantha will stay with readers for years to come and push them to “dorasee” their fellow humans. This book has the power to make the world a little kinder.––The Book Review Directory

I found Rich Marcello’s absolutely outstanding new novel, The Latecomers, gripping, original, thought-provoking, and very clever. I cared deeply about the main characters, and the book kept me guessing, kept me reading compulsively to find out what happened to them. ––Sophie Powell, author of The Mushroom Man

“Rich Marcello’s The Beauty of the Fall takes the reader on two intriguing journeys: the exciting coffee-fueled rise of a high-tech start-up and the emotional near-collapse of the man behind the revolutionary company, his personal journey through grief and healing.”––Jessamyn Hope, author of “Safekeeping”

The prose is as mesmerizing to read as the story is deep and heart-touching. The plot of the book (The Latecomers), however, is something very unique. While the first half deals with relationships, friendship and what it means to enter the old age with your partner, the final half deals with a mystical ancient book. Maggie and Charlie, both of them are such memorable characters due to the fact that they have been written finely. But more interesting was the mystical touch to it which kept the book engaging. Its uniqueness is in the emotions that it portrays. The book is very human and reads like a life experience more than a narration. Yet, at no point was my desire for fiction ignored. ––Pallavi Sareen, Alex The Shadow Girls Blog

Rich Marcello writes with the grace of a poet. The narrative is filled with vitality and is steeped in elegance. Reality crosses over seamlessly into mythology and mysticism. Imagine a tea that does more than just appeal to the senses. The unearthing of a life-changing cure suited to all mankind gives readers hope, even as adversity strikes the characters. Close relationships in a variety of forms are core to the story. The Latecomers is life affirming and beautiful. Marcello writes a story that is truly unique in a world where corporations can buy loyalty and there seems to be little grace in aging. 5 Stars. Indies Today Recommended.––Jordan Ehman, Indies Today

An impressively crafted and inherently riveting novel by an author with a very special knack for effective and entertaining narrative driven storytelling. There is much to recommend in this unusual, outstanding read. From its exploration of too-familiar challenges in the lives of aging Americans to its unexpected injection of moral and ethical questions and the process of going after the biggest question of all (life’s purpose), literary readers who enjoy strong contemporary stories of transformation have much to relish in The Latecomers. Its incorporation of mystical and philosophical elements places it a step above the anticipated story of an aging couple’s conundrums and changes. ––The Midwest Review of Books

I have never wanted to sit down and take as much in from a book as I have with The Latecomers! I took it slow and enjoyed one chapter at a time, letting each one settle in my mind before starting the next. This book gave me hours of joy and filled me with emotion effortlessly, and it has quickly become one of my all time favourites. I’ve never read such artistic, colourful and gentle words in a book before. Reading the opening was quite a surreal experience, and I don’t really know how else I can describe it! This book felt like a breath of fresh air from the first line I read, the words flowing perfectly from sentence to sentence. This book had an incredible impact on me. Each sentence was delicately crafted to fit into the bigger picture, each page left me longing for more. The story filled me with pretty much every emotion, and I really have to applaud the author for doing everything right. A huge congratulations to Rich Marcello on creating such a masterpiece of a book! ––A Quintillion Words Blog

The Latecomers is beautifully written, the narrative is poetry as prose, as the words caress the reader in this journey of life and love, aging and generativity, joy and loss, and with a spirituality that exudes from the very first page. With Marcello’s lyrical writing of an exceptional story, this book is sure to be on the reader’s top list of books for the year. ––Recommended by US Review of Books

The Latecomers is a stunning achievement. Getting to know Maggie is like meeting the Queen and realizing she’d be fun to grab a coffee with—and that the guy she hangs out with might be charming and attractive, but she’s the one who needs to be in charge. The writing is beautiful, the flawed characters are three-dimensionally human, the plot both surprising and inevitable. ––Rosies Book Review Team

The Latecomers by Rich Marcello is a very profound, enriching and meaningful read. It shows us, beautifully and quite truthfully, how life goes on beyond one’s retirement and how we are destined to fulfill our purpose in life irrespective of our age. It is a beautifully written book, with lyrical prose and with utmost sensitivity on a topic which many people avoid to even acknowledge. This book makes you think hard about your life, and one’s purpose. It has a beautiful message wrapped in complex layers of philosophy made entertaining with a sprinkle of magical mystery. I highly recommend this book to everyone who likes to read on subjects related to philosophy and life’s purpose. Also, people in their middle-ages and above are sure to relate to this book on a much deeper level. ––The Reading Bud

When you hear the word surrender, you might think of loss, of giving up, of accepting defeat. But what if you surrender to what will come? What if you surrender to inevitable change? Rich Marcello’s The Latecomers is a satisfying exploration of spirituality and love through care, mystery, and magic realism. The spirituality and interspersed mysticism add a uniqueness to the novel. Add in an almost-dystopic conversation about addictive drugs that are good for you and a worthwhile antagonist in a money-hungry medical corporation, and we’ve got ourselves a pretty fascinating novel.––Independent Book Review

Marcello delivers memorable characters in Maggie and Charlie. The Latecomers is a rousing emotional adventure story that should appeal to readers of literary novels with big ideas.––BlueInk Review

In The Latecomers, readers ride the waves of the characters’ emotional journey to self-healing and self-discovery. This deep, thought-provoking novel navigates the complexities of all aspects of life––though our bodies grow older, our spirit lives on, and this novel explores the road to acceptance of that fact. Marcello has created an ethereal work of magical realism that will inspire readers with clarity, wonder, and inspiration. ––The Book Review Directory

Marcello’s prose is masterful, The Latecomers’ narrative smooth, and the hefty dose of science-fiction mixed with magical realism adds to the intrigue of the story. The book is as much about “the very nature of the age-old relationship and its intricacies” as it is about the questions of aging, wisdom, and the fabric of the modern society. This absorbing story of relationship intricacies will appeal equally to lovers of magical realism and literary fiction.––The Prairies Book Review

Rich Marcello’s highly original novel The Latecomers blends humor, suspense, and poetic prose while tackling big issues like graceful aging, chosen families, corporate ethics, personal fulfillment, and the unending quest for self-discovery, and brims with philosophical depth about the world and life’s possibilities. – Indie Reader Approved––IndieReader

This deep, thought-provoking novel, The Latecomers, navigates the complexities of all aspects of life––though our bodies grow older, our spirit lives on, and this novel explores the road to acceptance of that fact. Marcello has created an ethereal work of magical realism that will inspire readers with clarity, wonder, and inspiration.––The Book Review Directory

Philosophical, and deftly written, The Latecomers by Rich Marcello offers a sincerely unique novel about connectedness and age. Poetic writing, with an intriguing plot and thought provoking story, The Latecomers is a book that shines light on the taboo subject of aging, and what love and sex means after sixty.––

WINNER: BEST CONTEMPORARY NOVEL 2017. Spectacular writing, interspersed with actual poetry, business vignettes drawn from life, and development of a deeply flawed, complex, and charismatic main character made this one of the best books I’ve read this year. For anyone with a technology background, The Beauty of the Fall is a must read. For everyone else, it’s a present right now, even as fall’s beauty heads to ––Barb Taub for Rosie’s Book Review Team

A deftly crafted novel by a master of the storytelling arts, The Beauty of the Fall is a consistently compelling read from cover to cover and very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections. ––The Midwest Review of Books Fiction Shelf

INDIEREADER RATING: 4 OUT OF 4. The Beauty of the Fall is well-named–it is almost a poem in prose about the ability of the human spirit to find beauty, new hope, and new purpose even through loss, grief and despair. The Beauty of the Fall is a poetic book, which shows us the internal world of a driven, devoted, thoughtful and very human protagonist through grief and triumph, love and heartbreak. Hope shines through this book even at its darkest moments, and it offers a quiet guide on achieving true happiness and peace in a world that sometimes seems to reward all the wrong things. The author’s writing style is thoughtful, almost lyrical, giving the book’s events an emotional rhythm and deepening their meaning. ––IndieReader

The Beauty of the Fall has a great deal to recommend it to readers of literary fiction: the excitement of a business venture, the poignancy of a primal loss and a host of unusual characters. Marcello doesn’t pull his punches when describing Dan’s self-destructive behavior (born of his grief and helplessness), nor does he force a happy ending. ––blueink Review

There is a certain haunting lyricism to this remarkable book about a father coming to grips with the death of his only son – a death he feels he caused. Its rich depth, satisfying substance, and willingness to examine key social issues such as global warming and battered women, force the reader to confront the truly inconvenient truths all around us while remaining invested in the story’s key players. This is a rare read, and one to be savored, especially now, when seeking respite from the current worries of an uncertain national – and international – future. It’s good tonic for the soul; a restorative tale of perseverance against all odds. Five-plus stars to The Beauty of the Fall. From start to finish, it never disappoints.––Publishers Daily Reviews

Grab some tissues for this one. Today I’m reviewing The Beauty of the Fall by Rich Marcello. Spiritual, inspirational, and modern, I haven’t been so emotionally affected by a book since Flowers for Algernon. In fact, Marcello’s book has affected me more, making me sad and hating certain people but also inspiring me and making me hopeful for the future. I highly recommend Rich Marcello’s The Beauty of the Fall. I have a lot to think about, both personal and big-picture. Writers, artists, engineers, creative people of all disciplines will appreciate Dan’s vision and those looking for spiritual relief will find a release in following his struggles.––The Writer’s Scrapbin

Every once in a while, we get to read books that change how we see life. Rich Marcello brought such change in his literary novel, The Beauty of the Fall. This is for readers who love an intellectual read with profound life lessons and a host of inspiring characters.––The Online Book Club

While The Big Wide Calm can rightly be called a coming-of-age story, it is also very much a tale of a young woman who discovers how to truly love. Marcello’s novel has a lot going for it. Well-written, thought-provoking, and filled with flawed characters, it meets all the basic requirements for best-of-show in the literary fiction category. ––The US Review of Books

The Big Wide Calm is a character driven, contemporary fiction novel that explores music, art, ambition, fame and deep philosophical themes. The sophomore work by New England author Rich Marcello draws you in right from the cover, the intriguing title, and the first few pages. Marcello has done a remarkable job of breathing life into the well-written lead character, Paige Plant. She is interesting, confident, strong, full of tenacity and spunk. She is definitely an individual who marches to the beats of her own drum. She even switches the gender role and objectifies men by calling them the first letter of their name! The novel encompasses interwoven philosophical elements throughout the story that go even deeper than the plot line causing the reader to pause and think. It’s a distinct coming of age story that is smart, well-written, and unique among other works of literary fiction. As a music love this book was a real treat for me, and it will be for you, too! It is a must read.––Breakaway Daily Magazine

Fathers and sons have always shared a powerful and sometimes difficult bond. When to speak, when to hold still, when to love, when to let go. Rich Marcello, in a marvelous new collection of extraordinary verse, drinks deeply from this well as he channels the thoughts and feelings of every father for his son. This lyrical collection transcends description, doing what all good poetry does, shining a soft light on often-unexpressed feelings. Marcello’s superb writing flows effortlessly. Five-plus stars doesn’t seem like enough for this glimpse into a good man’s soul. But it’s all we have to bestow on The Long Body That Connects Us All. You’ll want to read and re-read it again and again.––Publishers Daily Reviews

The Long Body that Connects Us All is a powerful collection of poetry. If you want to think and feel about your life and future, read this book alongside a box of tissues. In sharing his poetry, which reads like a memoir, Marcello has really written on elements of the human condition that do connect us all. Rating: 5 out of 5 .––The Book Review Directory

Review of The Long Body That Connects Us All. Rich Marcello, a poet extraordinaire, has taken his life experiences and put them into lyrical words from every walk of life. His words tell us how to be a good father, a good man, and a good human. In the humdrum of life, where the pace is fast, emotions are low, Rich’s words act as a mirror, to reflect back, to think, to analyze what is important, to enrich our core and go back to the roots. Rich’s poems emote the pathway of life, some lonely, some together, but all have a goodness in them. He has spun pure gold with his thoughts to words, a complete work, where each poem reflects the pathway of life each of us is on. Whatever be the strife of life, his poems have a spiritual quality in making us think and bringing us back to humanity, kindness, and love. Five out of five stars.––Shalini’s Books and Reviews