Friday, January 08, 2010

Through the Fire

If you read yesterday's post, you know that my time in the hospital with pneumonia was awful. But my family seems to take its own entertainment with us wherever we go. I have an addiction to Coke, and while waiting in the emergency room for the test results to come back, I really wanted one, so I asked Molly to find one for me.

Molly: Can I borrow $13 to go to that dance tonight? I can pay you back tomorrow.
Me: Sure, just go in my purse, but could you pull out $1.25 more and get me a Coke? They have a machine in the cafeteria.
Molly: Where's that?
Me: You go back down to the registration desk and take a right to the T and then...
Molly: How about I just find my dad's office and go from there? [both me and Molly's dad work at the hospital]
Me: Sure.
Several minutes later
Molly: They don't have any Coke, just diet.
Me: Yes they do! I just got some a couple of weeks ago. It's in the machine closest to the wall in the cafeteria.
Molly: Fine *sigh*
A few more minutes later
Molly: They changed it to water. There's no Coke.
Me: They have to have Coke! How can they not have Coke.
Remember, I'm barely conscious, running a fever of over 102, so my words were probably not that coherent. Molly took off down the hall and asked every employee she could find about getting me a Coke.
Molly: *yelling from the hallway* off-brand Coke okay?
Me: No!
Molly: Okay, I've asked everyone I can find, probably made a few people mad, but they don't have any Coke here.
Me: Ugh. Fine. How about a Sprite?
Molly: Sierra Mist okay?
Me: No! Yuck!
Molly headed down to the cafeteria again while Mom laughed at our conversation. Then Mom's phone rang.
Mom: Yes? Oh...They don't have Sprite. 7-Up or Sierra Mist.
Me: *sigh* 7-Up.
Mom: She says 7-Up.
A few minutes later, Molly comes into the room bearing a Diet 7-Up.
Molly: Don't blame me! I pressed the right button, but this came out instead.
Me: Let me try a sip...Yuck! Oh that's awful! Molly, could you please text Jesse and tell him that if he's not already in the hospital parking lot to get me a Coke from the gas station?
Molly: He says okay.
Me: Really? He's going to get me a Coke?
Molly: Yeah.
Mom: Wow! Your heart rate has been pretty flat, but when Molly said that Jesse was bringing you a Coke, it spiked up!

Half an hour later or so, my beloved husband really did bring me a Coke, and it tasted like ambrosia. I have no idea what happened to the awful Diet 7-Up. In the midst of this ongoing conversation, nurses were coming in and out and laughing at our antics, which also included a spontaneous exhibition by Molly of a portion of her cheer routine. Like I said, we bring the crazy wherever we go.

Through the Fire
by Shawn Grady is a powerful debut novel about the power of redemption and letting go of the past. Aidan O'Neill has firefighting in his blood. His grandfather, father, and uncle all served the Reno Fire Department with honor, but he blames himself for the death of his father in a fire several years ago. A.O. has become almost self-destructive in his quest to find the truth about his father's death and to prove himself as worthy. His recklessness leads to his dismissal from the department, but they are forced to bring him back when a series of fires are started by an arsonist that are unpredictable and frightening in their intensity. Working with fire investigator Julianne, the two of them create their own sparks while trying to bring down arsonist. Grady writes every scene involving the fires with frightening intensity. The reader can practically breathe in the smoke and feel the heat of the flames. The mystery isn't as tautly rendered. While the culprit makes perfect sense when all is revealed, it felt like there were a few too many loose ends. That said, Grady is fantastic with his characterization of a man who goes from living like there's nothing to live for to understanding the true value and Giver of his life. I look forward to more of Grady's writing.

Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of this book for review.