Book Review Forged Through Fire

Book Review Forged Through Fire. Author Mark D. McDonough, MD. Reviewer Shirley Alarie.
Book Review Forged Through Fire. Author Mark D. McDonough, MD. Reviewer Shirley Alarie.
Published: 9/3/2019
Goodreads Rating: 4.86
When Mark McDonough was a teen, a catastrophic fire claimed the lives of his mother and younger brother. It also left Mark with burns on over 65 percent of his body. During a long and painful recovery, his faltering faith in God was strengthened by a remarkable near-death experience. Inspired to pursue a career as a plastic surgeon to help those who suffer as he has, McDonough has overcome numerous other adversities on his journey,…

Triumph over tragedy

Dr. Mark McDonough’s memoir, Forged through Fire, is an inspirational journey through a series of life challenges that attest to the resiliency and strength of the human spirit.

Enormous Challenges:

No one’s life is perfect, but Dr. McDonough faced more challenges than one person should have to endure, most notably a house fire that forever altered his life and the lives of his family. Beyond his severe burns, he bore the weight of guilt over the fire and the lives it took, and it ultimately led him to a career that allows him to change people’s lives.

Burn Survivor:

Dr. McDonough’s journey gives readers a front-row seat to the trials of burn victims. He portrays a realistic view of the breakdown of a family after a tragedy. And, most importantly, he provides an inspiring example of how a Christian life can bring the peace and strength needed to handle any of life’s challenges.

Endurance and Hope:

Written in an easy, conversational tone, Forged through Fire is a tour through several health crises. From the neurological GBS (Guillain-Barre Syndrome) when Dr. McDonough was five years old, through his burn trauma, surgeries, and painful recovery, then his later stroke and addiction. Dr. McDonough’s life is a shining example of endurance and hope.

How this book affected me:

This book affected me on many levels. First of all, I love memoirs, so I was looking forward to reading Forged through Fire as soon as I saw it was available. But more importantly, I love to see Jesus working his magic in people’s hearts. Dr. McDonough’s Christian journey, his near-death experience, and subsequent Christian quest were the most inspirational aspects of his life.

I’m fascinated with near-death experiences (NDEs). Dr. McDonough’s confirmed one of my mysterious beliefs of God’s perfect plan - that no suffering is ever in vain and that pain has a purpose and is part of the plan, even if we don’t understand how it can be so.

There is a one-line prayer from this book that I will carry in my own heart as I also strive to discern God’s will for my own life. That is: God, if this is not your will, then please keep the door closed.

A superficial delight for me as a Cleveland native and current Floridian was knowing the neighborhoods, hospitals, and universities mentioned.

Who would enjoy this book:

Believers will love the Christian journey weaved throughout. However, readers don’t have to be Christian to enjoy and appreciate the inspirational aspect of Dr. McDonough’s life.

Anyone who likes memoir and anyone struggling with health crisis or challenges, grief, or loss would be inspired by Forged through Fire.

Meet the Author:

Forged Through Fire book review. A Reconstructive Surgeon's Story of Survival, Faith, and Healing. Author Mark D. McDonough, MD. Reviewer Shirley Alarie My focus has turned to helping people who are experiencing emotional or physical pain as they battle the effects of disease and trauma. It would be an honor to help others find the healing they need today and the hope to pursue a brighter tomorrow.

Obstacles and opportunities to fall await all of us along the journey; choosing whether and how to rise again is yours. It would be my honor to help you do so.  Learn more...


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The book reviews at Finding God Among Us focus on Christian books, adult and children, fiction and nonfiction. We're proud to be listed in the Top 50 Christian Book Review Bloggers!

I chose to read an ARC from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. This review is my honest opinion.


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Reviewer - Shirley Alarie

Shirley Alarie began writing adult and children's books to benefit two causes she loves. 'Hope in the Hood' portrays the incredible story of Colleen Adams providing hope and help to disenfranchised inner-city youth. 'A Healing Haven' showcases the amazing work of Shawn Jayroe and her incredible volunteers at RVR Horse Rescue. Children's books 'A New Friend for Gilbert' and the Dominick the Donkey 2-part series are based on real animals and events at RVR. Now Shirley writes for Jesus - including children's books, her FindingGodAmongUs blog, and as a Christian adult and children's book reviewer. Sign up to receive reviews of hot-off-the-press Christian and Children's releases. Need a freelance writer? Check her out.

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