From That Flame: A Novelized Account of the Life, Death, and Legacy of Ahmed Shah Massoud

He was a man of peace who became Afghanistan’s most brilliant military leader. He was America’s best Afghan ally who warned about the attacks of 9-11. He fought for democracy until he was assassinated by Osama bin Laden. He was…Ahmed Shah Massoud.

ISBN: 9780976111184
Author: MaryAnn T. Beverly  
Format: Paperback (5.25 x 8), ebook (epub)
Page Count: 348
Publish Date: June 2010
List Price: $19.95
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FROM THAT FLAME follows journalist Michelle Garrett as she interviews the legendary Commander Ahmed Shah Massoud – the “Lion of Panjshir” – in Afghanistan’s rugged Hindu Kush Mountains. Without warning, an attack by Taliban and al-Qaeda troops propels Michelle into a wartime adventure with Commander Massoud and his Mujahidin, one in which a friendship between the journalist and Massoud grows, giving her a unique perspective into the man the Wall Street Journal credited as being “the Afghan who ended the Cold War.”

“The kind of story that people need to know about … It stimulates the body, the mind, and most importantly the soul.”
—Edward James Olmos, actor and activist

“Massoud grieves in the novel, and then we, who have come to know him in this thoughtful and well researched book, grieve for him and for his dreams — and our own. Ms. Beverly has given us much to ponder.” [The book says] Pay attention.”
—Mary Sheeran, author Who Have the Power

“The amount of in-depth research it contains is extraordinary and is evident within the story. MaryAnn brings back to life for the reader a man who is truly worthy of the appellation ‘Hero’.”
—Katherine Swan, artist/artist representative (Duncan Regehr, RCA)

“History wears two faces. One is built of facts and timelines, names and places. But the other face, whose marks are far more indelible, less vulnerable to manipulation, is the image its impresses on those who lived it. This book is about the second: the image of one man that has marked his nation, his people forever. Set against a quick moving and suspense-filled background, the author has given us not only a powerful portrait of a modern hero, but posed some of the most burning questions of human life today, and answers them exquisitely. Read with caution: it might change your life.”
—Helene Walker, independent reviewer

“Ms. Beverly has captured the heart and essence of the man the world knows as the Lion of Panjshir. Her book flows well, and even the most up-to-date history buff who knows the ‘ending’ will want to keep reading — possibly hoping for a miracle.”
—Marsha de Garcia, independent reviewer

It is Massoud who always has a plan. It is Massoud who always has a vision. It is Massoud who always has a strategy. He didn’t ask for any of this, but when it was laid on his shoulders, he accepted the responsibility and has never shrugged it off,” Abdullah explains to Michelle in MaryAnn T. Beverly’s novel, From That Flame.

At three hundred and thirty-four pages, this engaging historical fiction reads more like a true story about Commander Ahmed Shah Massoud, known as the “Lion of Panjshir” of Afghanistan. Targeted toward readers who want to learn about the Taliban and al-Qaeda fighting against this leader and the mujahidin in the Hindu Kush Mountains, it has biographical connections to “the Afghan who ended the Cold War” that Osama bin Laden assassinated two days before he attacked America.

When female American journalist Michelle Garnett gets sidetracked writing an article how the Taliban treats women overseas, she travels with an army commanded by the famous Massoud in the high altitudes and rough terrain of Afghanistan.

As the writer and military leader begin to know each other, their upbringings, and cultural differences, Dr. Abdullah often has to play chaperone in the cold caves, treacherous mountain passes and battered tent living as war rages around them.

Forty-nine year old Massoud so enjoys Michelle’s young, lively spirit, witty charm, and unpredictability as she displays her fearless, bold approach to their friendship that he makes it his personal duty to protect her. From diving under destroyed tanks, falling off an old mule, or learning to shoot a pistol to speaking Dari, discussing life while enjoying a cup of green tea, and explaining the quirks of Western culture, she wears a paktou and pakol to blend in with the troops.

As the story evolves, one sees the obvious intense love Michelle develops for the Commander as he tries relentlessly to keep Afghan free from the Taliban as he explains his ultimate mission to her. As each day countdowns to the bombing of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, both man and woman find their purpose in life as they deal with regret, guilt, and acceptance during wartime tragedies.

With much description of the territory and history of the land along with the political aspect of war and its participating and non-participating players, Beverly sets the scene of dissention, disillusion and death during this pivotal time in world history.

—by Conny Crisalli at


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