Who by Fire

MT+Who+By+Fire+cover+NEW+FINAL+CORRECTED+7.5In Who by Fire, Mary L. Tabor offers a beautifully-wrought tale of love, mourning, and betrayal. The narrative is related by a widower named Robert whose wife, Lena, had been engaged in an extramarital affair shortly before her death. Grieving over the death of his wife and heartsick over her extramarital affair, Robert attempts to reconstruct the last months of Lena’s life so that he can better understand not only the decisions she made but also his own role in those decisions. What emerges is a rich tapestry that illustrates all of the ways in which the eternal quest for love and understanding manifests itself–our hunger for love, our desire to please, our triumphs and failures. Needless to say, a narrative of this nature calls for emotionally complex and compelling characters, and Tabor rises to the occasion. Robert’s quest to discover the “true” Lena leads him not only on a concurrent quest of self-discovery, but also to recognize the full humanity of everyone involved in her affair–including her lover, Isaac, and her lover’s wife, Evan. And while the journey to forgiveness is certainly not easy for Robert, it is both fulfilling and heartrending. An excellent tale of love, longing, betrayal, and ultimately forgiveness.


  1. The title is ironic for me, since our community is currently battling a wildfire in our backyards…and others around the state. Great review as always, Marc!

    1. Take care and know that I am thinking of you. I know you are in danger and have little time for this but when and if you do: I actually write about these recurring wildfires in Who by Fire. Here’s a brief excerpt, the male narrator is speaking (the year BTW was 2000 for the statistics):
      “Controlled fire destroys in an orderly way. Wildfires destroy as forest fighters try to contain them, as they drive people from their homes in Montana, in Colorado, in Arizona, animals in the wilderness of Alaska. In June, two hundred sixty-eight wildfires had been contained while eighteen large fires burned in eight states, according to the Sunday New York Times that was delivered to my door.”

    1. You just made my day, Kourtney, and find another new review and interview in the literary magazine: All the Thunder. You can google the title of the magazine and also find a link to the magazine on the second tab of my website: Writings and books. I want to help this new gorgeous magazine that, bless them and bless Marc Schuster here, for finding me.

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