The Stars are Fire

Anita Shreve |  Fiction

two-hearts

This is the book that compelled me to clarify my four-heart rating system.  It is a perfect two hearts:  “I don’t recommend it, though it was compelling enough for me to finish reading.”

This is a novel based upon the ferocious 1947 fire that broke out all along the coast of Maine (yes, fires have a significant place in recent blog postings!) It tells the made-up tale of Grace Holland, a 24-year old woman whose house burns down and her challenges as she is left with two toddlers to protect and support.

Unfortunately, it is too saccharin for my tastes.  I don’t believe Ms. Shreve manages to convey almost any of the angst, anger, and pain such a disaster would instigate.  Grace’s resolutions come too easily and are not believable.

Shreve’s writing style is, however, absorbing.  This novel is fast-paced, a quick and easy read.  I DO recommend it if, given that it is late July, you are looking for a rather mindless beach read.  It is perfect for that!  If you have more important, more satisfying books on your reading list, then defer this one and move on.

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