Monday, January 26, 2009

Who By Fire - Silicon Valley Moms Book Club

One of my greatest fears in life is losing one of my children. It is the one thing in life that I simply don't know if I could pick myself up and live again. Who can judge how one reacts to such a tragedy? How can I say what I would do, or what lengths I would go to keep my other children close and safe?

Who By Fire by Diana Spechler had me drawn in by the first page. A story of a family torn apart by tragedy. Ash Kellerman and his sister Bits take two completely opposite roads after the disappearance of their sister, Alena. One turning to a wildly excessive lifestyle, the other to a deep rooted faith.

The book's events occur years after the abduction, leaving the family still in turmoil even after 13 years. Ash has decided to become an Orthodox Jew and moves to a yeshiva in Israel. His mother, Ellie Kellerman is convinced that he has joined a cult and desperate to rescue him. She enlists her daughter Bits to help in this effort, as well as a man who she met in a support group for people with loved ones involved in cults.

In Israel, Ash feels no need to be rescued, except maybe from the girl who is taunting him and also trying to lure him out of his chosen way of life.

The story is compelling, and as I said, from the first page I was completely hooked. I couldn't put it down, and at the end I found myself wondering if that could possibly be all. I wanted more. I wanted another fifty pages to continue my look into the lives of these characters. I loved every word & highly recommend Who By Fire!

I read this book and wondered, what would I have done? Experiencing the tragedy and loss of one child, would I do whatever it took to hold onto another? Or would I accept my son's decision and embrace him, even if I believed he was making a mistake. I'd like to think I would do the latter, but I think it's hard to say until you walk that road.

For more discussion on this book check out The LA Moms Blog where there will be a book club style discussion in the comments section of the post.


Anonymous said...

I'm always looking for new books- I will pick this one up! Thanks!

Sue @ My Party of 6 said...

I wonder what I would do too. I can totally relate to the mom and her sense of brokenness.

Diana said...

Rebecca, thanks for the beautiful review of my book! If you really want fifty more pages of Who By Fire, I've got plenty of "edited-out" material saved to my coputer. : )

On a serious note, I think most mothers would agree that what happened to Alena in Who By Fire is the worst of all possible nightmares. I really appreciate your reflections on this element of the story, and I'm so happy to be part of this book club discussion!

-Diana (the author)

A said...

This is next in my pile of library books.I'm eager to get started on it

Erica said...

I had the same reaction as you to this book. I really liked it but it made me think more deeply about how I would handle that type of loss with one of my children. I think I'd be even more crazy than Ellie was (if possible).

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