Book Giveaway: Letters From A Distant Shore by Marie Lawson Fiala

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“Tragedy shattered Marie Lawson Fiala’s life as wife, mother, and lawyer when her 13 year old son, Jeremy, was felled by a massive hemorrhage from a ruptured artery deep in his brain.   Within an hour, Jeremy was in a coma, sustained only by machines.  This memoir of a mother’s ferocious care, devastating loss and prayerful transcendence focuses on bringing her son back from the edge.  The suspense is relentless and the author’s observations as sharp as a scalpel.


Marie Lawson Fiala, born in Europe, came to the United States as a child. Her first language was Czech, and she learned English only after starting grade school. Ms. Fiala earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with Distinction from Stanford University, her Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School, and her Master of Fine Arts in Writing from the University of San Francisco. Ms. Fiala is a full-time practicing attorney and a partner in an international law firm, specializing in complex commercial litigation.


I was very hesitant to read this book.  I wanted to because it’s a compelling story and even more, an important story.  But, it has to be at the top of the emotional scale, a child with a life-threatening illness.  I close my eyes at scary parts in movies.  As much as I love roller coasters, I scream like a little girl *blush*. Marie Lawson Fiala’s credentials also told me that it might be a difficult – dry read.  After all, she’s a lawyer.  I was so very wrong – as I found out on the first page… and second page… and third page.  This book is written by a lawyer and a mother, but also a very skilled writer.  Her use of language is as skilled as an acclaimed artist using a brush on canvas.  Her use of words to describe a scene will draw you in and hold you to the last page!


“Marie Lawson Fiala’s account is lyrical, moving and utterly absorbing.  In the tradition of Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking or Martha Beck’s Expecting Adam, she details how ordinary existence can change in an instant.  The reader learns how a family’s terrible challenge can bring great wisdom, renewed spiritual strength, and even moments of joy and beauty.” – Gretchen Rubin
“In a sea of mediocre memoirs, Marie Lawson Fiala’s magnificent, meticulous and utterly moving chronicle of her son’s combat with death shines like mother of pearl.  Open your heart to this book.  It’s that rare thing – an almost perfect read.” Jacquelyn Mitchard


Enter here to win a copy of Letters from a Distant Shore.

Main entry

1. Please go to the author’s site,  Marie Lawson Fiala, or her Facebook page and tell me about something you read.

Additional entries

2. Follow Kelly’s Lucky You with Google Friend Connect.

3. Follow Kelly’s Lucky You on twitter.

4. Tweet this giveaway (RT 1x per day). Feel free to use this sample:

#Win a copy of the book, Letters From A Distant Shore by Marie Lawson Fiala #Giveaway @KellysLuckyYou.

5. Like Kelly’s Lucky You and Letters From A Distant Shore on Facebook.

6. Add the Kelly’s Lucky You button to your blog’s sidebar or blog roll.

7. Add this giveaway to any giveaway linky (unlimited entries). You can use this list!

UPDATE:  Get an extra entry in any KLY giveaway by voting for Janet C. from Chesterton in the CSN Stores Beat the Blah Backyard Contest.  Details on how to vote here.  It’s easy!  After you vote, come back here and leave a comment with how many votes there were so far.

Leave one comment for each entry. Contest ends May 28th at midnight EST. The winner will be chosen by and notified by email to the email address provided in the winning comment. The winner must respond within 48 hours of the notification email, or another winner will be chosen. See my Giveaway Rules page for further information. Sorry, this giveaway is open to residents of the US only.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of Letters From A Distant Shore for review and with no obligation. There was no compensation and all opinions are my own. I’m disclosing this in accordance with FTC guidelines.


  1. 1
    Linda Kish says:

    When my son was 13 I came home from class one night to a dark house on a dark street to the sound of my son yelling my head, my head, it’s going to explode. He was holding the sides of his head. I threw him in the car and drove like crazy to the ER thinking it would be faster than calling 911. When I got to ER they immediately gave him IV morphine and put him in the CAT scanner looking for an aneurysm. No aneurysm, luckily. So, he was then shipped by ambulance to Children’s Hospital for further treatment. It ended up being hypertension and migraines but could have been so much worse. So, I feel for Marie and would love to read her story.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  2. 3
    Linda Kish says:

    I am a GFC follower

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  3. 4
    Victoria Zumbrum says:

    I am a follower.

  4. 5
    Victoria Zumbrum says:

    I am an email subscriber.

  5. 6
    Victoria Zumbrum says:

    Please enter me in contest. I really want to read this book.

  6. 7
    Ms. Dawn says:

    The author did an interview on a radio show called “Peeling Mom Off the Ceiling”. Love it.

  7. 8
    Leanna Morris says:

    I learned this is a true story about the author’s son..and the author’s travel in faith.

  8. 9
    Leanna Morris says:

    follow KLY via gfc

  9. 10
    felecia says:

    Her first language was Czech, and she learned English only after starting grade school

  10. 11
    felecia says:

    gfc follower

  11. 12
    Jennifer Ryder says:

    I read that she has degrees in psychology and law, as well as a master’s in writing.
    One of my nephew’s had the same thing happen to him several years ago. It was a very scary time. He did eventually recover but is still not 100%.
    jryder416 at yahoo dot com

  12. 14
    Jennifer Ryder says:

    I’m a GFC follower(Jennifer).
    jryder416 at yahoo dot com

  13. 15

    I read that she got her Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School!
    Lina recently posted..Walmart &amp Target 4-11

  14. 16

    Follow you on google friend
    Lina recently posted..Walmart &amp Target 4-11

  15. 17

    I follow you on twitter @lkim496
    Lina recently posted..Walmart &amp Target 4-11

  16. 18
  17. 19
    Francine Anchondo says:

    she was Reviewed in the New Spirit Journal, March 2011

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