* Would like to thank Netgalley for my ARC of this book for my honest and unbiased opinion*
MY REVIEW: 5*
This is an emotional and inspiring story. Set in Hunts Beach, Maine. It starts in 1947 with Grace and Gene Holland and their two children. Graces best friend Rosie her husband Tim and their son.
That summer was dry and went on longer than it should, due to the drought, warnings were put out telling people to be on alert. It isn’t long before another word is on the lips of the towns folk and that is Fire. Wild fires are spreading along the coast and it is not long before the inevitable happens in Hunts Beach. WHile Gene and Tim go to help with fire defences, Grace and Rosie are left at home wondering what they would pack or do if the fire came.
When the fire starts burning the town, people panic, the air is full of shouting, car horns, ash and burning debris. Grace and Rosie grab their children and do the only thing available to them and several others, they head to the beach and hunker down in the sand with wet blankets over them hoping for the best. When they are found and rescued from the beach, the town has been burnt to the ground. They have nothing left, Rosie and Tim go to his mothers’ house in Nova Scotia. Gene has not returned, is he dead or has he just run off ?
She has always been reliant on Gene, he is the only wage earner, he takes her shopping as she cannot drive. She now has to learn how to live life as an independant single mother. What will happen to her? Will she be able to do this? Will Gene ever return ?
The transformation of Grace from the meek little wife and mother to an independant single parent is great. The little steps she achieves in her life give her a strength that she will need to get through the decisions she will have to make later in life.
This is a great book, a first for me by this author, and it will not be the last.
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.
THE BOOK DETAILS: