Last year I was contacted by Diana Spechler to read and review her novel Who By Fire. I was extremely honored but a little nervous. What if I didn't like it? I really don't enjoy Lifetime Channel-y books. But I am so glad that I said yes. I can't believe this is her debut novel because it is really really good.
The story is about a family who's youngest daughter was kidnapped when she was six years old. Her body was never found. Thirteen years later the family is still trying to come to terms with her disappearance. The story mainly focuses on the remaining siblings, Bits and Ash. Bits, the sister, is kind of a wild-child. She has a sort of sex addiction and sleeps around. Ash has dabbled in various things and has converted to Orthodox Judaism, moved to Jerusalem, and pretty much cut off ties from the family. The father left early on after the abduction while the mother is a compulsive worrier. She thinks Ash has joined a cult and enlists the help of Bits to go to Israel and get Ash back.
So it's kind of a weird story premise, I think, but it works. The family dynamics is fascinating and I love how she depicts the struggle of a grieving family who is unable to move on because they never found the body. How instead of coming together, the tragedy splits the family and each grieves in his or her own way.
But the story doesn't come off as depressing. Diana Spechler is an amazing writer. Bits and Ash could be annoying characters but they aren't. I really felt for them. And there are some interesting side characters, like the crazy girl Ash meets or the cult-ish man the mother falls for.
I was going to keep this book but then I thought that I want to pass it along and let some one else read this. So please post a comment on why you want to read this by April 10th and I'll choose a winner. This is open to anyone anywhere.
Check out a couple of great interviews with Diana at Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'? and Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Also Reviewed by:
Bookfoolery and Babble
Musings of a Bookish Kitty
The Book Lady's Blog
Friday, April 3, 2009
Who By Fire - Review and Giveaway
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I would love to read this book because it's one I would never pick up on my own, but I love expanding my literary horizons (I just read "Wild Sheep Chase" on the suggestion of a friend).ReplyDelete
No need to enter me (although it looks great). I'm just dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book.
Sounds like my kind of read. Count me in!ReplyDelete
I think I would really enjoy this. Please count me in!ReplyDelete
because it looks like a great read thanks for the giveawayReplyDelete
this sounds like a really good book. Something to keep you wanting more. Please count me in.ReplyDelete
First time hearing of this one, sounds good!ReplyDelete
What caught my eye in your review was that it is about a serious topic but not depressing.ReplyDelete
akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com
I'd love to win this book because the premise sounds so intriguing and I heard Diana Spechler talk about her book on Blog Talk Radio, which made me even more interested. Thanks!ReplyDelete
I would love to read thse book because it sounds interesting. It wouldn't be something that I'd pick up when going to the library or bookstore on my own, but I'd love to read it.ReplyDelete
I love Lifetime type books.ReplyDelete
The plot seems rather odd in a good way, but put together. I want to read it to see how it turns out!ReplyDelete
I would love to read this book due to all the glowing reviews I've read about it and I think I would enjoy it as well. It sounds quite intriguing to me.ReplyDelete
teddyr66 at yahoo dot com
Hmmmm... very interesting. I'm Jewish, so the Jewish-interest thing caught my eye right away (actually the book's title, which I repeat every year at my Yom Kippur services caught my eye right away). I'd love an entry. Thanks!ReplyDelete
I would love to win this book, count me in!ReplyDelete
I like your review. I don't have a lot of extra money in the budget for new books. I would like to win this one. THanks!!ReplyDelete
I want this book as it has a very interesting premise. Just from reading the review, I want to know what happened to the characters(other than the kidnapping) to make them that way, and what the future holds in store for them.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the opportunity to win this. :)
Please enter me and thanks for the give awayReplyDelete
madeleine444 AT gmail DOT com
Ooooo ... this sounds so intriguing!ReplyDelete
Please enter me for this one. I like the premise you described, with the abduction and the aftermath for the family. It sounds really good. Thanks!ReplyDelete
I would love something new to read and this sounds really interesting. I love books that are not the norm.ReplyDelete
I have heard way too much about this book and besides I am interested in reading a book that has such a pretty cover. I think being a cover junkie that should be reason enough :)ReplyDelete
Please do enter me!!!
Oh, wow, this sounds like an amazing book! I'd love a chance to read it - sounds like something I would totally get into!ReplyDelete
I loved The Lovely Bones, and this sounds similar - would love to read it.ReplyDelete