Thursday 1 June 2017

Review - The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve

The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve
Publisher: Little Brown Book Group
Release date: 2 May 2017
Rating: *** and a half
Back cover blurb: 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.

Grace Holland is young and pretty, with a loving husband and two beautiful children. She has everything she needs. Doesn't she?

Her best friend and next door neighbour Rosie speaks of sex and passion as if they were everyday occurrences. Grace realises her marriage may not be as perfect as she first thought.

And then the fires start...

Grace's husband Gene goes to help as they draw nearer to their home town along with Rosie's husband Tim. But Gene doesn't return.

When Grace wakes up in the hospital in the fires aftermath she doesn't know if she should be relieved or concerned. Until she discovers the fate of her Mother and her neighbour her only emotion is worry.

As she learns he fate of her Mother (safe and well) and Rosie and Tim (fled to Nova Scotia), Grace realised time has come to move on with her life. She has nothing except her children. Her husband is still missing and her home destroyed in the fires.

A rare moment of clarity leads her to her husbands deceased Mother's house. The two females never got on but Grace must overlook this fact as she moves all three of them into the house, along with her Mother, and awaits her husbands return.

What she doesn't realise is that the concert pianist taking refuge in the house before the family's arrival will make her view her life in a way that she never dared to dream of previously.

And then Gene returns...

A sky made of stars is a beautifully written novel against the harrowing backdrop of Maine's 1947 fires.
The stars are Fire is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.
Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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