Based on a true story of a fire on the coast of Maine in 1947, this novel is about Grace, whose town was one of many that burned to the ground. As the fire rushes toward her home, Grace and her best friend grab their young children and head to the ocean, where they are eventually saved.
Grace, whose marriage is entirely loveless, isn’t too alarmed (and even a bit relieved) when her husband, Gene, ends up among the missing men fighting the fire. Having nowhere else to go, she takes her children to the home that her hated mother-in-law left Gene when she died. Expecting an empty house, Grace is surprised to find a squatter who was also displaced by the fire.
This is a stirring story of a woman who finally finds her independence and a wonderful pick for book clubs that love strong women characters who prevail when all odds are against them.
The Stars Are Fire, by Anita Shreve. Knopf/Penguin Random House; ISBN 978-0-38535-090-7; $25.95.
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