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The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve
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The Stars Are Fire (2017)

by Anita Shreve

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5513828,231 (3.78)44
"In October, 1947, after a summer-long drought, fires began near Bar Harbor and raced along the coast of Maine, ravaging two hundred thousand acres--the largest fire in Maine's history. In the southern part of the state, people were forced into the sea to escape the flames. Five months pregnant, Grace Holland is left alone to protect her two toddlers when her 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 in a town that no longer exists. 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"--… (more)

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» See also 44 mentions

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In the midst of devastating loss, Grace discovers glorious new freedoms--joys and triumphs she could never have expected her narrow life in 1947 could contain--and her spirit soars. She becomes a fierce survivor that can never go back. ( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Jul 25, 2019 |
Her last book - actually liked this more than many of her books. How a woman in a terrible marriage grows into herself when her husband disappears. The epilogue was a little predictable, but a pleasant ending. ( )
  bobbieharv | Jul 14, 2019 |
Anita Shreve is a gifted writer. This novel is a bit dark. Although much of the storyline is disturbing, it's still an amazing novel. Shreve's prose kept me reading and thinking until I finished. ( )
  Beth.Clarke | Jun 28, 2019 |
This novel shares much in common with Anita Shreve's other works -- quiet pacing, precise language, and stark emotion. Stuck in a loveless marriage and uncertain about the future, Grace finds her life upended after a terrible fire and discovers herself in the aftermath. This book was a quick read and I enjoyed it, though the bland reality of Grace's life at times is hard to stomach. One thing I love about Shreve's writing in this particular novel is her ability to introduce major plot action in the midst of the most mundane description -- one more than one occasion, I found myself reading back a few pages to see if I had missed a sign or some key build-up to an event, only to realize that Shreve introduced the action just as it would happen in life: without warning or fanfare, in the midst of the daily grind. 3.5 stars. ( )
  smileydq | Jun 20, 2019 |
Grace and Gene are in an unhappy marriage. They live in Maine and have two young kids. When a wildfire threatens their town and they are forced to evacuate, Grace is waiting at home for Gene to return from helping fight the fire, so they can get out, but it’s too late and she much leave with her kids. She and her best friend/neighbour, Rosie, take their kids and run to the beach. After they are saved from the beach, neither knows where their husbands are, and both of their homes were destroyed.

Apparently, the fire really happened; unfortunately, there was no author’s note to tell me that. It took me quite a while to figure out when the book was set (it was the 1940s). The fire itself was fairly quick in the book, so the bulk of the book was picking up the pieces afterward. It did slow down a bit in the middle for me, but I thought the fire itself was written well, near the start of the book, and it picked up again at the end of the book. Pretty scary, the fire.

I listened to the audio and it kept my attention (this is a good thing, as many don’t!). As I started listening to the book, there were wildfires north of me, and towns were evacuated. The smoke made it to my city. I’m lucky I’ve never had to worry about such a thing, but it is a very real possibility for many people. ( )
  LibraryCin | Jun 7, 2019 |
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Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet
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To my husband, with gratitude and love
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