September 11, 2011

From Ashes to Honor by Loree Lough

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day? In memory of that fateful day ten years ago, I thought it only appropriate to review a book centered around individuals affected by the events of 9/11.

Austin Finley, NYPD, ignored his twin brother's call. His twin brother who was calling to tell him to say goodbye when he realized there was no chance he would make it out of the south tower. Mercy Samara was the shrink who met with Austin to discuss his pain, regret, and disappointment. And the one who cost him his job with the NYPD.

Flash forward a few years and south a few miles to Baltimore where both Austin and Mercy moved to get away from the memories surrounding NYC. During the time since when they've last seen each other, both have hit rock bottom - using alcohol and suicide as methods of escape - and have both come out on the other side. Austin is now a paramedic, highly rooted in his Christian beliefs, and Mercy is a school counselor. They happen to meet up again when one of Mercy's students has an accident and Austin is the EMT that comes to help out. That day is the beginning of a relationship that neither of them could have imagined years ago when Austin sat in Mercy's office for roughing up another delinquent.

I won't tell you anything else other than to say that this wasn't as easy a read as I thought it would be. While this was definitely fiction rooted in Christianity, life wasn't just smooth sailing for these characters. Loree Lough adds in enough of "life's not fair," events to make this seem a lot more real life than some books. And for that reason I liked it. It was centered around these two individuals whose lives were changed on September 11th, and it wouldn't have been real to think that their lives were difficult after. It would be almost like pretending September 11th didn't happen and didn't affect every single American in one way or another.

This book also reminded me of the sacrifice that so many Americans make every day to protect us. Whether it be by fighting in the armed forces, pulling families out of burning buildings, or putting their lives on the line to stop a holdup. And for that I am extremely grateful, especially on this 10th anniversary of 9/11.

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