Along with storytelling mojo and stylistic verve, this novel has an excellent, suspenseful premise: Grace’s life is upended and ultimately transformed by a real-life historical catastrophe, the wildfires that spread through coastal Maine in October of 1947, following months of severe drought. With all the terror of fire on our West coast these days, it is scary to realize it happened not far from us not that long ago. As good as her first book, The Weight of Water.
“This is sure to be a best seller. Shreve’s prose mirrors the action of the fire, with popping embers of action, licks of blazing rage, and the slow burn of lyrical character development. Absolutely stunning.”—Library Journal (starred review, Editors’ Spring Picks)
“It is a book of small moments, a collection of seemingly simple themes that build to surprising and moving crescendoes. Shreve’s spare, economic prose suits her character’s practicality and initial hesitance to determine the course of her own life… Shreve’s crisp writing becomes more expansive in the moments when her protagonist consciously stretches beyond the boundaries of her previously narrow life.—BookPage