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After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship…
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After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival

by Robin Gaby Fisher

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This book is so very well written that I read it in one sitting. The book flows easily between the police, family, doctors' and victims' stories. However, I imagine that many people will not be able to read this book because of the gruesome details of the two main characters burns. Be prepared to read all the gory details of how a human being recovers from burns over much of their body. I found the book fascinating and the amount of detail made the book even more interesting. Can't wait until the author writes another book. ( )
  francesuzanne | Jan 1, 2009 |
On January 19, 2000, a fire set by two inebriated students broke out in the freshman dormitory at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, killing three and injuring 58 others. This is the story of two of the most severely injured students, Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos. They had been roommates before the fire, and became each other’s lifeline afterward.

Shawn and Alvaro were lucky to be taken to the Saint Barnabas Burn Center, recognized to be one of the top burn treatment centers on the East Coast and run by the driven and dedicated burn specialist Hani Mansour. The doctor thought that Shawn had a chance to live if he made it through the night, but Alvaro would need a miracle to pull through. But what Dr. Mansour and his burn unit team found over the ensuing months was that Shawn and Alvaro each had superhuman will, faith, caring family and friends, and perhaps most importantly, each other.

The two boys suffered greatly, and Fisher does not shrink from telling you in detail all that they had to endure. They each worked hard at rehabilitation, showing their strength in the face of the pain and the tears. They learned to cope with the stares and the insecurities and the anger, each bolstering the others' spirits during the down times. And they overcame the horrific tragedy, as much as anyone could who had been through what they had. Alvaro said to Shawn, “Sometimes I think I am one of God’s angels, sent down to do good. Maybe to help people who are not as strong as I am.”

The story of their trials is not an easy one, but it is perhaps one of the most inspirational you will ever read. ( )
  nbmars | Nov 1, 2008 |
This is a quick read, but it is very powerful! I was instantly drawn into Shawn and Alvaro's story. Some might find the description of the burn treatment a bit much, but I thought the detail was necessary. It wasn't overly graphic, but was honest in showing the amount of pain the boys went through on a daily basis.

My only complaint with the book is that the ending seemed to be a little abrupt. The story focuses mostly on the burn treatment and rehabilitation with less attention being paid to how Shawn and Alvaro get along in their daily lives now. Maybe this isn't as exciting of a story lines, but it seemed to warrant a little more attention then it received.

Shawn and Alvaro's strength of character is wonderful and uplifting. The support they received from each other and their friends and family made their amazing recoveries possible. Although their lives haven't gone back to exactly what they were before the fire I think both young men learned valuable lessons about what they can achieve. ( )
  Lallybroch | Oct 10, 2008 |
I don't generally read this type of book, the "tragedy turned inspiration" story, but I am so glad I read this one. The story of Shawn and Alvaro's struggle to recover from their burns is powerfully touching, and the strength of their friendship is truly inspirational.

Full review at The Book Lady's Blog . ( )
  bnbooklady | Sep 2, 2008 |
After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival is based on true events. It is under sad and unfortunate events that this story comes about. The day was January 19th, 2000, a day that no one will ever forget. On this fateful day a fire spread throughout the freshman dormitory halls of Seton Hall University. The fire claimed young three lives and injured many more. Robin Gaby Fisher tells the story of two room mates Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos and the angels of Saint Barnabas Hospital, who helped saved these two friends.

After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival makes you feel raw, heart-wrenching emotions of sadness, joy and triumphant. After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival is such a powerful book that it is beyond words on how to explain it. I credit this fact dooly to Robin Gaby Fisher's talent as not only an author and writer but as an amazing story teller. I was blown away from the first moment I picked this book up to read it. If Mrs. Fisher's goal was to show how with lots of strength, determination as well as setting a goal for yourself you can achieve anything; then Mrs. Fisher accomplished that with After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival. If there is ever one book you must read in your life then it has got to be After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival by Robin Gaby Fisher. ( )
  Cherylk | Sep 1, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316066214, Hardcover)

On January 19, 2000, a fire raged through Seton Hall University's freshman dormitory, killing three students and injuring 58 others. Among the victims were Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos, roommates from poor neighborhoods who made their families proud by getting into college. They managed to escape, but both were burned terribly. AFTER THE FIRE is the story of these young men and their courageous fight to recover from the worst damage the burn unit at Saint Barnabas hospital had ever seen. It is the story of the extraordinary doctors and nurses who work with the burned. It is the story of mothers and fathers, of faith and family and the invisible ties that bind us to each other. It is the story of the search for the arsonists--and the elaborate cover-up that nearly obscured the truth. And it is the story of the women who came to love these men, who knew that real beauty is a thing not seen in mirrors.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:21 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

On January 19, 2000, a fire raged through Seton Hall University's freshman dormitory, killing three students and injuring 58 others. Among the victims were Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos, roommates from poor neighborhoods who made their families proud by getting into college. They managed to escape, but both were burned terribly.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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