Tag Archives: Fire Road

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Sharing book reviews from Net Galley

Net Galley helps readers of influence discover and recommend new books to their audiences. If you are a librarian, bookseller, educator, reviewer, blogger or in the media, you can join for free.

I enjoy reading and sharing what I read with my blog followers, so joining Net Galley helps me accomplish both. I try to find books with a health/medical theme although occasionally I will pick something just for fun. But I find that almost any story portrays some  health related issues since it’s a universal concern.

SHARING HEALTH BOOK REVIEWS FROM NET GALEY

Here are two stories, both memoirs, but vastly different. One is a private personal story, the other a public  personal story.

The Best of Us

A Memoir

by Joyce Maynard

Ms. Maynard’s story opened with a  failed marriage/bad divorce saga with adult children torn between the two parents, persistent anger and bitterness, and attempts to ease the pain with a series of bad choices in lovers. Equally sad was her telling of a complicated  and ultimately failed adoption attempt.

Finally she and we can breath a sigh of relief when she meets a man and seems to have found true love at last. But that comes to an abrupt halt when he is diagnosed with cancer.

From then on she poignantly describes a life turned upside down as she enters new territory as a caregiver. As she relates how their lives changed, we the readers are changed also, learning to recognize what is truly important in life. As Ms. Maynard  writes,

“success, money, beauty, passion, adventure, possessions- have become immaterial. Breathing would be enough.”

Read this book if you want your assumptions about life and death to be challenged and changed. You may read an excerpt at this link

The Best of Us-Chapter 1

Tears of Salt

A Doctor’s Story

by Pietro Bartolo; Lidia Tilotta

Dr. Pietro Bartolo practices medicine on the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, in the Mediterranean Sea. Lampedusa, known for its friendly people, sunny skies, pristine beaches, and turquoise waters famous for fishing, seems an idyllic place to live, work, and visit.

But for the past 20 years, Dr.Bartolo has cared for not just residents and tourists, but for hundreds of refugees- people who risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean from northern Africa, fleeing poverty and political unrest. The lucky ones land on shore injured and sick. The unlucky ones wash ashore dead, having died en route or drowning after falling from a capsized or wrecked boat, sometimes only a few feet from shore.

In this memoir, Dr. Bartolo shares the stories of many of these people, giving them the names and faces that we don’t see watching news stories about the refugee crisis. He also shares his own life story of growing up on the island, leaving for medical school, and returning to raise a family and to practice medicine.

Dr. Bartolo’s story was also told in the documentary film FIRE AT SEA

 

 

He never expected to become the front-line help for hundreds of desperate people. With no specific training on how to manage an avalanche of desperate, sick, and injured refugees, and with little resources, he manages to put together a system for triaging, evaluating, and treating these people, then sending them on for more advanced medical care or to immigration centers in Europe.

For the less fortunate, he serves as medical examiner, to determine the cause of death for those who do not make it to Lampedusa alive; sometimes taking body parts to extract DNA to identify them, so families can be notified. He states he has never grown comfortable to this aspect of his job.

As a physician myself, I marvel at Dr. Bartolo’s caring and commitment to people who will never be able to repay him for his sacrifice. He approaches his work as a mission of mercy, and treats every person with the utmost respect, no matter their circumstance. Some of the people he treats become almost like family; he has even tried to adopt a couple of orphaned children but cannot due to legalities.

Dr. Bartolo’s story reads like a conversation. I think you will like him, and admire him for his dedication and selfless service.  His life should encourage all of us to consider what we can each do to lessen someone else’s suffering.

 

 

Another book review from Net Galley is at this link-

COURAGE for the UNKNOWN SEASON- a review

 

I also review books for Tyndale Blog Network.  for whom I reviewed FIRE ROAD,   also on Net Galley. Here is the link to that review-

Love conquers fear-a memoir of hope

I received a free digital copy of these books (FIRE ROAD was a paper copy) in return for posting a frank review on my blog and/or social media.

 

 

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FIRE ROAD- the Napalm Girl's Journey through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness and Peace

Love conquers fear-a memoir of hope

Romans, chapter 8, New International Version (NIV)

 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. 
 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 
 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 
 
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

 

 A review of 

FIRE ROAD- a memoir of hope  by Kim Phuc Phan Thi

The Napalm Girl’s Journey through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness and Peace

In war time Vietnam, 1972, 8 year old Kim Phuc Phan Thi almost died after being severely burned when a napalm bomb fell on her village.
Initially left for dead in a morgue, she survived after multiple surgeries on the burns which left her permanently scarred on much of her body. She was known as the “girl in the picture” the memories of which haunted her.
A devout follower of the Cao Dai religion, she lived  in shame, fear, pain, and despair, until she encountered Jesus in the Bible and dedicated her life to living for Him.
After years of  poverty and persecution in Vietnam, Russia, and Cuba, Kim and her husband  resettled in Canada where they tried to rebuild their lives.  But she still felt unease, with nightmares interrupting her sleep.
“For many years I had lived in outright fear, knowing that I was always within two or three days’ time of being detained by communist minders. The incessant guardedness left me cynical and exhausted, and I had simply had enough. I determined in my heart that I would no longer live like that, always fretful over what the days might hold, always fearing the worst.
I went to Toan (her husband) and said that I would no longer live in fear, that I would practice the courage Jesus promises his followers all through Scripture. I recounted several Bible verses, especially the idea that we are no longer slaves to fear because we have been adopted into the very family of God. (verse 15, above)
I will stop running from my fears, from my picture, from my past. Starting now I refuse to hide.
The following morning I woke with fresh resolve, determined to simply live my life.”
Now Kim’s dedication to her Christian faith and to sharing her joy and peace takes her all over the world. She has met Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom, billionaire Richard Branson, and the grand duke and duchess of Luxembourg. She speaks to business people, government officials, college students, and the news media. She has been awarded six honorary doctorates.
In her speeches and in this memoir she explains what compels her to leave her home in Canada several times a year to tell her story and urge the world to embrace forgiveness and love.
“My faith in Jesus Christ is what enabled me
to forgive those who had wronged me
to pray for my enemies rather than curse them
to love them, not just tolerate them, but to love them. “

Kim founded a non-profit organization KIM Foundation International to serve children who are disabled, disenfranchised, or displaced as she was as a child in Vietnam.

I found  Kim’s book riveting, challenging, and faith-building and I believe you will also. Kim’s belief in and reliance on the power of prayer challenges me to pray more for my friends and family and expect answers.

 Please let me know how this book speaks to you.

I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House Publishers.

 Find Kim’s book at Tyndale and join the rewards club to earn free books.

Come Read with me-Tyndale Rewards.com

 

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Follow this link to read the first chapter of Fire Road 

TRANG BANG, VIETNAM
WAR? WHAT WAR?

a statue at a war memorial in Vietnam

the memorial at Son My, better know to Americans as My Lai, site of the infamous massacre (photo by Dr Aletha)

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words of  faith, hope, and love

(1 Corinthians 13:13)                Dr. Aletha 

FAITH LOVE HOPE

These three remain, faith, hope and love, and greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13