The Pope’s Stone Blog Tour Stop: Book Review + Giveaway!

Author: Marc Kuhn

Publisher: Marc Kuhn

Release date: November 2012

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase from Amazon


THE POPE’S STONE is a fascinating historical novel that follows the lives of Nathaniel and Nicholas, descendants of the Barrington family of Virginia. Each young man keeps life-long journals which eventually reveal their parallel lives; lives that are mirrored by similar events and experiences, similar relationships and consequences. The two, however, lived a century apart. The only connections between them are their family heritage, their journals…and the Pope’s Stone.

The Pope’s Stone was a slab of engraved marble given to America in 1854 by Pope Pius IX. It was to be embedded within the walls of the Washington Monument, then under construction in the nation’s capital. John Henry Barrington, a stonemason working at the Monument site, was persuaded to assist a small party of anti-Catholic activists in stealing the Pope’s Stone, smashing it to pieces and tossing them into the Potomac River. The Pope’s Stone was never to be seen again, except for a fragment that John Henry secretly kept for himself. This small piece of the stone passes down through generations of Barringtons, leaving a path of hardship and unexpected tragedy for those who possess it. Coincidence? Bad karma, as Cousin Sarah calls it? Or is it more than that? And, what role does the stone play in the lives of Nathaniel and Nicholas? These are some of the questions you’ll be asking…discover the answers in THE POPE’S STONE. — Goodreads


Marc Kuhn’s debut adult novel, The Pope’s Stone, couldn’t have been anymore brilliantly written. It is a tale of historical fiction, intricately woven with suspense and mystery. Plus, Kuhn is just BRILLIANT. The story itself is a masterpiece and only a great writer would be able to pull off a parallel universe character plot.

Let me begin with the gist of the novel:

Nathaniel Henry Barrington and Nicholas Henry Barrington lead a similar life though they live a century apart from one another. The sudden twists and turns of events they both have encountered in their life isn’t purely coincidental but scary accurate. It’s hard for it to be possible – it’s nearly impossible that it can’t be true but the only thing that is connecting Nathaniel and Nicolas is the Pope’s Stone.

The stone was given to America as a gift from Rome towards the construction of the Washington Monument. After some deliberation and political strife, John Henry Barrington (grandfather of Nathaniel)  break the stone into pieces and thrust it into the River Potomac. But they kept one piece, ensuring it to John for it’s safety. This begins the journey of the stone being passed from one generation to the next in the Barrington family until it finally settled with Nathaniel.

There are countless of similarities between Nathaniel and Nicholas’s life throughout the story. Slowly, Kuhn reveals similar events that as a reader you could only compare and contrast. It’s only when Nicholas begins to unravel the history of the stone that he finds out the history surrounding Nathaniel (his great-great grandfather). It was startling because before the discovery I was reading two character’s stories. How Kuhn reveals the mystery of it all is magnificent! Pure genius.

There are many things that I liked about the book and most of all it was the brilliant tale Kuhn spins. It’s a definite page-turner once you get through the first three chapters of exposition. I also liked the terrible amount of research that Kuhn must have gone through to make the story true to the time and place it’s set.

Lastly, I want to draw attention to the cover. After reading the book I’ve come away with great symbolism that I appreciate. Definite brownie points to Mr. Kuhn for coming up with the concept of the stone and the journal to be on the cover.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. If it wasn’t for Monica approaching me about The Pope’s Stone then I never would have found it. It’s a really great tale filled with heart-wrenching moments, startling conclusions, and mystery. Once you start reading you won’t want to stop until you find out the magical attributes surrounding The Pope’s Stone.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.


Marc KuhnAuthor Marc Kuhn has worked in radio broadcasting most of his life as a journalist, a program director and a marketing executive. He has held positions at major radio stations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Miami.

Now retired, he has turned his attention to writing. His first book, NEVER GOOSE A MOOSE! is a collection of whimsical verse for young children.
ABOUT A FARM is his second children’s book. It features lessons in life beyond the barnyard.

A third book, THE POPE’S STONE, is Kuhn’s first adult novel. It is a fascinating historical novel about two descendants of the same family who live parallel lives, but a century apart!

Kuhn lives in South Florida with his wife, Rosemarie, and seven grandchildren.


Marc Kuhn, the author of the historical novel The Pope’s Stone, is very generous to offer a combo prize package of a signed paperback of his book plus a simple black journal. To sweeten the deal, four winners can totally get this awesome gift. Awesome? Two US residents and two international participants will be chosen by an electronic raffle after the giveaway ends. So what are you guys waiting for? Kindly check the rafflecopter links below. The first one is for International giveaway and the next is for US only.

Hop into the fun!

For international residents only enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win!

United States residents enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win!

May the odds be ever in your favor.

Leave a comment


  1. I liked your review a lot. Even I found that I couldn’t put down the book once I started. I love your blog header. Overall, your blog is very beautiful!

  2. 최다해 gongjumonica

     /  March 17, 2013

    Thanks for the review, Emma. I am glad that you accepted my offer to be part of this tour. Don’t forget to join the giveaway, and may the odds be ever in your favor, too!

  3. Dear Emma….I have never before been called ” Brilliant.” I can hear some of my teachers turning over in their graves. Regardless, I am happy that you enjoyed the story. What was unique, however, was the publicity stunt I pulled off by having the election of a new Pope timed out to fall during the same week as my book’s review tour. Now, that was brilliant!
    Thanks, Emma, for your kind thoughts.


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