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The Stars are Fire by [Shreve, Anita]
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The Stars are Fire Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Length: 256 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description

Review

Delicate, poignant storytelling (Good Housekeeping)

Book Description

Anita Shreve's brilliant new novel - for fans of Anne Tyler and Maggie O'Farrell.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1042 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group (18 April 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01LX8O13O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,440 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Katharine Kirby TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 April 2017
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have always had a soft spot for Anita Shreve, ever since reading ‘The Pilot’s Wife’ years ago. Today she is at the top of her game. Elegantly written, appealing, engaging, and atmospheric, the story grabbed me from the beginning. In 1947, Grace is living on the US coastline, grimly enduring a dangerous marriage with a damaged man, Gene. She is a good girl, who has come to realise that what she is experiencing is just not right. Very soon a terrifying natural disaster envelops her and her two children. Grace has to think fast, and show life saving ingenuity.

What happens next is a rewarding unfolding of her maturing personality, and her reawakening to the real possibilities of her new, utterly changed life. Her mother, her mother in law, her neighbour and her employers all play their parts in helping her develop and grow, willingly or unwillingly. I was with her every inch of the way.

Grace’s dilemma is that she has a conscience, even in the utmost need she is edgy about taking what is rightfully hers. Here is where the ‘different times’, ‘different thinking’ is so observantly demonstrated. We have come along way since those days but seeing a young mother take control, use her initiative and come to her maturity was a privilege and a pleasure.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Anita Shreve writes the most brilliant slow-burning, page-turning fiction and The Stars Are Fire is Shreve at her best. It's the story of mother-of-two Grace Holland and her bullying husband, Gene, whose conventional small town lifestyles disappear in smoke amongst the raging fire of 1947, which ripped along the Maine coast following a summer-long drought. With her home gone, surviving is difficult for Grace, but with the help of her mother, Marjorie, she forges a new and better life for herself. I particularly enjoyed the relationship between Grace and Marjorie - a prickly one before the disaster, but one that shows the strength of it's bonds when Marjorie steps up to help Grace and her children, revealing a new loving closeness between mother and daughter. Just like the wild fire, The Stars are Fire builds with a fierce intensity - making it hard to put down. I'm an enormous fan of Shreve's writing and am thrilled to have discovered a new favourite!
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a novel about Grace, a young wife and mother in post-war 1940s small-town America who loses almost everything in a vast wildfire (that actually did happen). What she gains in the fire is a better understanding of what she wants from her life and initially a sense of freedom. She saves her children in the fire but thinks her husband is lost and, her own house destroyed, moves into his recently deceased mother's big house where she makes some interesting discoveries. One is Aiden, an Irish concert pianist and another refugee from the fire, who is squatting in the place. She take him in and falls in love. But is there trouble ahead?

This is a pretty quick read and on the whole a good one. I did find it all a bit romanticised and at times a tad simplistic, but I liked the characters, especially Grace, and I liked the evocation of the early post-war years when people were starting to become more prosperous and buy things like washing machines and cars. It was also a time of new freedoms for some women and this is a key theme in the novel. Grace is unhappy in her marriage and can't see a way out. Disaster offers one.

Anita Shreve conjures up time and place really well. The change in the seasons from wet to tinder dry and the approach of the conflagration are well described and full of suspense. Here, the use of the present tense helps, but I wasn't sure it did later on, when it perhaps makes everything seem a bit too easily resolved and idealised. I found some of the interactions between the characters like that too, with no ambiguity or uncertainty to add tension. Life isn't quite like this.

But I did enjoy reading it right to the end and if you like a well-written and romantic novel with some high drama and a few surprises, this could be for you.
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By Peter Piper TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 21 April 2017
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The latest Anita Shreve work is an enthralling mix of suspense, tragedy, human frailty, mental cruelty, revelations, friendship, and new beginnings. The central character, Grace, is an intelligent, capable but downtrodden woman trapped in an unhappy marriage. Set in 1947 Maine, Grace's resilience and strength come to the fore in the face of a colossal fire.

Gripping, fast moving, poignant and delightful, this story is a real page turner and I couldn't put it down. The ending is unexpected and not predictable, in my opinion. On the whole, it is slightly different to the usual novels from Anita Shreve, in that it follows a more conventional story line and it has a different ending compared to some of the author's others where the conclusion is a practical but an unhappy one, or others where the endings are suspended in mid-air. This is a wonderful, uplifting read.
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