FILL THE SKY

Katherine A Sherbrooke

Biotech entrepreneur Tess Whitford has built her life around the certainty of logic and thrives on solving problems. But when one of her dearest friends exhausts the reaches of medicine while fighting cancer and grabs onto the hope that traditional healers in Ecuador might save her, Tess has to let go of everything she knows—and every instinct she has. Unable to deny Ellie a request that might be her last, Tess flies to Ecuador to help.

Together with Joline, another close college friend whose spiritual work inspired the trip, they travel to the small mountain village of Otavalo.

more …

Biotech entrepreneur Tess Whitford has built her life around the certainty of logic and thrives on solving problems. But when one of her dearest friends exhausts the reaches of medicine while fighting cancer and grabs onto the hope that traditional healers in Ecuador might save her, Tess has to let go of everything she knows—and every instinct she has. Unable to deny Ellie a request that might be her last, Tess flies to Ecuador to help.

Together with Joline, another close college friend whose spiritual work inspired the trip, they travel to the small mountain village of Otavalo. Immersed in nature and introduced to strange ancient ceremonies, the three friends are pushed to recognize that good health is not only physical. Tess grapples with her inability to trust; Ellie struggles with a painful secret; and Joline worries about the contract she made with an aggressive businessman whose ambitions could destroy the delicate fabric of the local community. When an ayahuasca ceremony goes awry and an unlikely betrayal suddenly threatens to unravel their decades-long friendship, these three very different women awaken to a shared realization: they each have a deep need for healing.

Fill the Sky captures the challenges of mid-life, the hope we seek when we explore alternative paths, and the profound nature of women’s friendships. It’s a beautifully told and moving story about lifelong friends, the power of the spirit, and the age-old quest to not simply fight death but to shape an authentic life.

less …
  • Sixoneseven Books
  • Paperback
  • October 2016
  • 264 Pages
  • 9780984824533

Buy the Book

$15.00

indies Bookstore indies Bookstore

About Katherine A Sherbrooke

katherine-a-sherbrookeKatherine Sherbrooke received her B.A. from Dartmouth College and M.B.A. from Stanford University. An entrepreneur and writer, she is the author of Finding Home, a family memoir about her parents’ tumultuous and inspiring love affair. This is her first novel. She lives outside Boston with her husband, two sons, and black lab. 

Praise

Three women, each with an important question to answer, travel together into a world richly imagined and beautifully rendered to find unconventional answers. This is a deeply moving novel about love, honesty, respect, the unlikely, and the truly possible.Anita Shreve, New York Times bestselling author

“Fill The Sky takes us to places we seldom dare explore and pushes the boundaries of love, friendship, and healing. Sherbrooke has a deft understanding of human nature and a painter’s eye for place. A journey every woman should take.—Brunonia Barry, New York Times bestselling author of The Lace Reader

Sherbrooke’s insight into friendship—all the slights and secrets, yet more importantly all the love that defines it—propels this novel forward to its deeply satisfying conclusion. Fill The Sky is pure heart and a perfect read for a circle of friends.Lynne Griffin, author of Girl Sent Away and Sea Escape

Discussion Questions

1. Of the three friends in the book, which one do you relate to the most? Which one do you think you’d be most likely to be friends with? Why?

2. Given the state of her health when the novel opens, do you think Ellie is being resourceful or reckless in choosing to go to Ecuador?

3. Do you think Ellie survives?

4. The book opens with the Einstein quote “Look deep, deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” How did nature help these characters understand themselves better? Were there particular elements of nature that you found particularly significant?

5. What do you think of the method of Parker’s proposal? It is characterized differently by each of the three friends as: “smart,” “bold,” and “cowardly.” What do you think?

6. Before Ellie’s ultimate epiphany, did you think Ellie should tell David about Gavin? Why or why not?

7. Joline is both friend and sister-in-law to Ellie. Which did you think Joline felt the weight of more in dealing with Ellie’s infidelity?

8. How was Chi-Chi important to the story and Tess’s personal journey?

9. In Mama Rosita’s ceremony with Bryce, she uses her foreknowledge of his yellow dock to manipulate the situation. What do you think of that?

10. On their last night in Ecuador, Marco tells Tess that Mama Rosita had a vision of “one more rock” that she worked to dislodge from Ellie’s “river.” What do you think that rock represents?

11. What is the key lesson each woman learns about herself over the course of the week? Who changes the most?

12. Near the end, Tess tells Marco, “Maybe loving someone is enough. And letting them love you back. Maybe that’s all we should need.” Do you agree?

13. All three women are in their mid-forties at the time of the story. Do you think being in their middle years had any particular impact on their experience in Ecuador?