This is a book that is hard to read. Repairing Rainbows by Lynda Fishman is an emotionally gut wrenching story. It is a first person account of a thirteen-year-old tragically losing her mother and two sisters in a plane crash. The Air Canada flight went down on July 5, 1970 and Lynda vividly recounts what it was like to try to pick up the pieces of her young life. Making the situation even more difficult, her father retreats into himself leaving her alone in her grief.
I have to admit this book is so powerful I needed to take a break from it after about 100 pages. Lynda's writing elicits such an overwhelming feeling of empathy from the reader that it is like you are right there with her living the nightmare. It is a testament to the strength of the human spirit that she was able to move forward. When I picked up the book again after some time away from it, I was in awe of Lynda's indomitable will to focus on the positive.
But what I liked most about the remainder of the narrative was how honest Lynda was about the continuing struggle to cope with the fragility of her mental state. The turmoil she went through will always be a part of her and she openly acknowledges this indisputable fact. It is a continual uphill battle that she will face for the rest of her life. As a reader, you can't help rooting for her.
You root for her when she meets and falls in love with her soul mate, Barry. When the two get married and start a family, they balance each other perfectly. Barry also lost his mother when he was a child and his father when he was a teenager. The shared bond of pain allows them to form a deep, mutual understanding of each other. It is a beautiful union to behold and you feel grateful that the two of them were able to find each other.
Being the one left behind after a loved one dies in a plane crash is a lonely, unique designation. That is why it is quite touching when Lynda feels such a connection with the victims' families of 9-11. When she lost her mother and sisters, support groups did not exist. She was not put in touch with the surviving members of other families who lost loved ones on that Air Canada plane. She could not really relate to other children who lost family to cancer, a car accident, etc. She was unwillingly assigned to a new category of loss. One that not many people will ever experience.
The book concludes with a section regarding the paranormal. Lynda connects with a medium named Sandy who is able to channel her deceased family members on multiple occasions. Whether you believe in communication after death or not, Lynda receives specific, detailed messages from beyond the grave. It is a fitting way to conclude the book by illustrating that while she may not be able to physically see them, her mother and sisters will be beside her for the rest of her life.
Overall, this is a painful story that is worth the struggle to read.
Repairing Rainbows by Lynda Fishman is available for $18.00 at Amazon.com and at RepairingRainbows.com.
Review copy provided by the author.
Congratulations to our winner: Nancye C. Davis!