Fierce Joy: A Memoir

  • From the Publisher
February 28, 2012
Fierce Joy is a med­ical mys­tery, a love sto­ry, and a spir­i­tu­al adven­ture. Ellen Schecter had every­thing she ever want­ed: a lov­ing mar­riage, two delight­ful chil­dren, and a career she loved writ­ing children’s books and tele­vi­sion. Then her life shat­tered when she was diag­nosed with a painful, poten­tial­ly fatal dis­ease. Fierce Joy, tells how she dis­cov­ered how to be sick with­out suf­fer­ing. 

Ill­ness is the arma­ture, but not the sole focus, of her sto­ry. It pro­pels her into a quest for new mean­ings as she learns to lis­ten to her body, redis­cov­er her soul, and find heal­ing even when a cure is impos­si­ble. Plagued with loss after loss, she plunges deep­er into her Jew­ish her­itage and its wis­dom, learn­ing Hebrew and Torah can­til­la­tion and becom­ing a Bat Torah. As she learns to pray, her fal­ter­ing body drops away like a tat­tered shawl, and she is flood­ed with grat­i­tude for what remains. Fierce joy: not a tepid, sim­ple hap­pi­ness, but one that flames up despite harsh moments. It’s hon­ey from the rock of loss and pain; the ecsta­sy that burns its flame despite grief and dread; the delight born of small events and lov­ing people.

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