The Stars Are Fire

The Stars Are Fire

A Novel

eBook - 2017
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From the New York Times best-selling author of The Weight of Water and The Pilot's Wife (an Oprah's Book Club selection): an exquisitely suspenseful new novel about an extraordinary young woman tested by a catastrophic event and its devastating aftermath—based on the true story of the largest fire in Maine's history
In October 1947, after a summer long drought, fires break out all along the Maine coast from Bar Harbor to Kittery and are soon racing out of control from town to village. Five months pregnant, Grace Holland is left alone to protect her two toddlers when her husband, Gene, joins the volunteer firefighters. Along with her best friend, Rosie, and Rosie's two young children, Grace watches helplessly as their houses burn to the ground, the flames finally forcing them all into the ocean as a last resort. The women spend the night frantically protecting their children, and in the morning find their lives forever changed: homeless, penniless, awaiting news of their husbands' fate, and left to face an uncertain future in a town that no longer exists. In the midst of this 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.
Published: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group


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Apr 11, 2020

Another book that I finished but wasn’t captivated by. Just seemed like to many tragic situations and wonderful accidents coincide.

Sep 03, 2019

Outstanding! Rich in detail, compelling story set against war. Sad that this is her final novel.

ArapahoeKati Jun 12, 2019

A solid four stars. I've struggled to read other books by Shreve but I was up late a few nights reading this one.

ArapahoeAlyson May 30, 2019

I loved this historical fiction set against the actual fires that devastated Maine in 1947.

Jan 20, 2019

What a great read. It captured my attention immediately. I couldn’t put the book down. Grace the young wife and mother is forced to make difficult decisions affecting her and her children’s future following the fires of 1947 in Maine.

ArapahoeAnnaL Aug 03, 2018

A historical novel, the Great Fires of 1947 in Maine, with a page turning plot that brings up interesting ethical questions.

Martha C Benner
Jun 05, 2018

Enjoyed this book so much. I started it and could not put it down until it was done. A great story and you could feel the pain and pleasure of the people in this book.

Apr 23, 2018

Loved the book, loved the description of the fires. You can almost feel the dryness of the surrounding as the town lit up. Anita is soon becoming my fav author.

mko123 Mar 08, 2018

Take a 1940's woman, give her a perfect life near the beach, a handsome husband, two adorable toddlers, a best friend, then have a fire sweep through and upend her life overnight. This is a quick read owing to Shreve's lyrical writing style and her realist characters. I liked the resiliency of Grace, who must conjure up the intestinal fortitude to do some difficult things.

Jan 30, 2018

The New York Times reviewer of this book says: ‘The historical record of Maine's Great Fires is a literary opportunist's delight.’ Shreve sets her novel with the 1947 fires at its center with Grace Holland, a young mother and fire survivor, as its main character.

I’ve read Shreve before and spent time on the coast of Maine so enjoyed this story and its setting. Born in 1947 myself, it was an interesting look at that post-World War II time for women. Good light reading.

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