Skip to main content


January 1, 2011

Daniel Silva on Sharing a Book

Posted by Anonymous
silva-daniel_150x110e.jpgOn this New Year’s Day, international bestseller Daniel Silva, the celebrated author of 13 novels --- including THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR, the latest installment of the highly acclaimed Gabriel Allon series --- shares the compelling story of one man who, with the help of a shared book, was able to turn a terrible tragedy into personal triumph.
Over the years, I have been especially touched by readers who tell me how they have shared my books with family members. How the stories have given them common ground. How children and parents or sisters and brothers have connected in a way they never had before. For a writer, there is no greater compliment. But of all the stories I have heard, nothing prepared me for this one.
A few years ago, I did a book tour event in Lexington, Kentucky for THE MESSENGER. I did not know him at the time, but one of the people who came to get a book signed that day was a well-known and respected attorney named Les Morris. He and his wife were planning a vacation to Alaska, and he planned to read the book on the trip. A few weeks later, there was a terrible tragedy. Comair Flight 5191 crashed on August 27, 2006, and Les Morris and 48 others died.
I heard about the crash, but had no idea that Les Morris was on the plane. Nor could I ever imagine what would happen next. It turns out that when his son, Wyn, went to his parents’ house to take care of their belongings, he found the dust jacket of THE MESSENGER and realized his father had taken the book with him. Then, months later, Wyn received an account of his father's personal effects, and was stunned to discover the signed book had miraculously survived the fire and devastation of the crash.
Wyn Morris told a reporter for WKYT television, "It just felt really good to bring it home, in a sense, this thing that I knew was special to my Dad, that he had had with him, and just to have it back felt like having a piece of him."
It turned out, having the book meant even more. Wyn Morris had always wanted to open a book store. So, inspired by his father, in 2008 he opened The Morris Book Shop in Lexington, Kentucky and told WKYT, "Every day could be your last day. Accidents happen, and they are kind of a wake-up call to stop screwing around and stop talking about what you want to do someday. Whether it is to travel, or get a motorcycle, or fly in a hot air balloon or, God forbid, open a bookstore."
I am so proud of the fact that if you visit the book shop you will see Les Morris's signed copy of THE MESSENGER.
So as I do every year, I want to thank those of you who share my books, and a special thanks to Les and to Wyn for loving books and for opening a bookstore!
And with this incredible story of hope, love and hidden opportunity, the Holiday Author Blogs draw to a close. A special thanks to the 50 authors who have made this series possible with their profound, heartfelt and often hilarious holiday pieces, and to all of you who have taken the time to read and enjoy these extraordinary memories along with us. We here at hope you have had a wonderful holiday season, and we wish you all the best for a safe and healthy 2011. Happy New Year, and see you next November --- the holidays will be here again before you know it!