Letters from a Distant Shore

There’s a stream of great books being published by former students of the  USF MFA program, where I teach. Letters from  a Distant Shore by Marie Fiala is a remarkable story of mothering, family, and faith.  Fiala’s son, Jeremy suffered a devastating brain injury, and her book tells the story of his long hospitalization and recovery, and the enormous impact his illness had on their family.    It’s a story of struggle, survival, and redemption, but it’s also an unflinching account of faith.  Twice, Jeremy had near miraculous following international prayer vigils.

My kids are in Catholic school, and one of the things I love best about it is how the school supports their spiritual growth.  Their education is not simply about academic achievement but about becoming a better, more faith filled and spiritual person.  I don’t believe that everyone is called to believe in the same way, but I do believe in raising children with faith, who have a spiritual core to sustain them.

Fiala’s book shows the miraculous and pedestrian aspects what faith can mean in a family’s life and she does so in prose in that is fresh and compelling and completely free from jargon and cant. This is the kind of faith I struggle to convey to my children, and books like this one help me on that path.

Whatever you believe, this story will move you.  And you don’t have to take my word.  Terrific reviews are coming in at Kirkus and Literary Mama.