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The Stars are Fire

In my opinion...

Thought provoking and heartfelt.

What a thrill and privilege to read this novel.

I have been reading Anita Shreve’s work for years, and she never lets me down.

Having just finished this book, I feel bereft, as though I have left behind a group of friends. The characters lived with me even when I wasn’t reading. This author makes the writing feel effortless and easy, the plot flows naturally, with her thoughtful descriptions.

Her characters are interesting and rounded, the story, although it starts dramatically, also has gentle moments which are heartfelt and full of love, followed by others which force the reader to confront- what would I do in the same situation?

An historically accurate devastating fire, resulting in the destruction of a community, becomes a metaphor for events throughout the book This is a clever, sensitive, fascinating novel-, and as for the ending...I didn’t see it coming.

I loved it, and am already recommending it to people.

Thank you NetGalley and Little, Brown for my copy.

Want to know more?

Hot breath on Grace's face. Claire is screaming, and Grace is on her feet. As she lifts her daughter, a wall of fire fills the window. Perhaps a quarter of a mile back, if even that. Where's Gene? Didn't he come home?

1947. Fires are racing along the coast of Maine after a summer-long drought, ravaging thousands of acres, causing unprecedented confusion and fear.

Five months pregnant, Grace Holland is left alone to protect her two toddlers when her difficult and unpredictable husband Gene joins the volunteers fighting to bring the fire under control. Along with her best friend, Rosie, and Rosie's two young children, the women watch in horror as their houses go up in flames, then walk into the ocean as a last resort. They spend the night frantically trying to save their children. When dawn comes, they have miraculously survived, but their lives are forever changed: homeless, penniless, and left to face an uncertain future.

As Grace awaits news of her husband's fate, she is thrust into a new world in which she must make a life on her own, beginning with absolutely nothing; she must find work, a home, a way to provide for her children. In the midst of devastating loss, Grace discovers glorious new freedoms - joys and triumphs she could never have expected her narrow life with Gene could contain - and her spirit soars. And then the unthinkable happens, and Grace's bravery is tested as never before.

I was drinking...

A cooling glass of Breton cider, beside the sea.

My rating...

No doubt about it, a five glasses of bubbles read

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