Two Weeks in Winter: A Memoir
From routine surgery for a broken ankle to intensive care and life support within seventy-two hours.
Bela Maranhas, a strong-willed business woman, found herself in precisely this position, clinging to life via an oxygen mask for an ailment doctors could not identify, yet refusing to be placed on a ventilator. Bela's husband, Mike, knew his wife strongly feared suffering brain damage due to previous trauma. He also knew she didn't want him in a position where he would be responsible for potentially taking her off life support.
After a long, emotional discussion, Bela reluctantly submitted to artificial respiration. She did so for Mike, their love, their marriage . . . but for two weeks only and not a second more. Mike promised to honor Bela's request. Bela placed absolute trust in Mike.
For two weeks, Mike endured extreme stress, exacerbated by a chronic condition, while making excruciating decisions. Though weak in faith, Mike could turn nowhere but to God for guidance. Yet, in doing so, he became the means through which not just highly improbable, but miraculous good manifested.
Two Weeks in Winter is a riveting story about the power of faith over fear, pain, illness and death. Mike, an award-winning novelist, wrote the book to share with people his evidence for hope while entertaining them with a memoir that reads like a thriller.
Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 10.00 out of 10
Idea/Concept: The author narrates this often harrowing memoir and love story in a manner that, while substantive in its delivery, does not overwhelm readers. Instead, he draws them into a story of a routine procedure-turned-awry through complex yet relatable storytelling, detailing the agony that accompanies witnessing the suffering of a loved one and being faced with questions of life and death.
Prose: The writing is compelling and steady, exhibiting excellent control of tone and language throughout the work. Maranhas successfully tells the story of his wife's trauma, maintaining readers' focus and engagement until the uncertain conclusion.
Originality: The memoir breaks away from the traditional narrative trends of this genre by creating an immersive experience for readers. Maranhas focuses less on chronological events over extended periods of time, and more on pivotal, life-changing circumstances. Emotional and riveting, Maranhas takes a painful topic and explores it with honesty and intelligence.
Execution: The author excels at characterization, producing vivid portraits of individuals both central to the narrative and secondary. A distinguished and affecting memoir with subtle spiritual dimension.
Date Submitted: January 14, 2020