After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival. There is no other book out there today quite like this one that can lift your spirits and bring hope to anyone who reads it. This is a five star rated book on Amazon and a must read for just about anyone.
In the past I have been asked, how can you read books about fires and feel uplifted? What does reading have to do with healing? The answer to this is simple, there are some books out there that offer hope to readers and naturally you become gravitated towards the characters, flipping page after page, wanting to learn more about how their story unfolds. After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival is one of those books that you cannot put down and makes you feel inspired about life.
Robin Gab Fisher is an award winning author that vividly and passionately narrates the powerful story of two college roommates, Shawn and Alvaro, who rise above a devastating fire that destroyed their freshman dorm at Seton Hall University. Both students suffered extreme burn injuries and were in intensive care for several months, working towards their recovery. They are both are miracle stories of finding hope after extreme tragedy.
Shawn was the first to recover after the Boland Hall fire, while his friend Alvaro stayed in a coma several months. Everyone prayed for Alvaro’s recovery, but were unsure what his life would be like if he had lived, he was covered head to two in burns. His road to recovery would be long and painful, but people did not give up hope, especially Shawn. Whenever he had a chance Shawn would get a glimpse of Alvaro to check on how he was doing. When Alvaro finally awoke from his coma and was ready to face what he looked like in the mirror, Shawn was there, by his side, ready to help him through it.
Each roommate struggled to find recovery, every day reliving the horror of the fire. Despite all this they found inner strength within themselves to continue on. Times were not always easy especially when it came down to the “tank,” where burns where scrubbed. The whole process was especially painful. However, each roommate found strength to undergo the pain for hope of a better future. Together they were able to overcome the impossible because they had each other by their side, a rare friendship that not everyone has.
Through friendship, family support and inner courage both roommates were able to go on to live their lives despite the fire. Shawn returned back to school several months after the fire. Alvaro overcame the disfigurement that his burns had caused, all the while dealt with the devastating reality that his girlfriend had left him because she was unable to deal with his burns. He rose from the ashes finding love again and living life again, finally.
After the Fire is a book that I would highly recommend to anyone. I felt inspired by the stories of Alvaro and Shawn and how they were able to overcome tragedy. So many times when bad things happen, we get angry, want to hide and shut out the world. Shawn and Alvaro did just the opposite. Even though, they struggled many times, they found strength to continue on and live their lives.
The book was heartwarming! It made me think about my fire and my experience. I did not suffer burn injuries, yet I know many people do have to deal with this reality after a fire. In hind sight, I have virtually nothing to complain about after being in a fire. I was untouched physically by the fire and I was still capable of attending school after it. Despite all this, I still have anger, I am still outraged by the fact that I lost my portfolio after the fire. Shawn and Alvaro made me think twice about things. They were not angry after the fire, even when they found out arson was the cause of the fire, they were grateful to be alive. How can I complain about my life being saved and not suffering burn injuries?
Shawn and Alvaro gave me hope to continue on with school and live my life despite the fire. After the Fire gave me awareness about ways I could improve in my recovery. At times I find myself hiding behind my trauma, sometimes not wanting to leave the house for fear that it might burn down again. Attending school this past year and half since the fire has been extremely difficult, but that doesn’t mean I should quit. These roommates reminded me that its okay to live again and not feel bogged down by my fire. There are always going to be obstacles in life, but to enjoy life we have to find a way to overcome them.
- Fire In The Grove: A Book to Add to Your Reading List (firesurvivors.wordpress.com)