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The Stars Are Fire

Anita Shreve
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Anita Shreve’s career catapulted when Oprah Winfrey recommended Shreve’s 1998 novel, The Pilot’s Wife, to her television book club. I have been a devotee ever since, which is why I was delighted that her latest offering, The Stars are Fire, didn’t disappoint. Set in the late 1940s against the backdrop of the monumentally destructive Maine fires, a young wife is disillusioned with her husband and marriage, and then fire intervenes. While Grace, the protagonist, is left alone with her children, her husband joins the volunteer firefighters, but she proves that adversity is the mother of invention and she is braver and stronger than she ever could have imagined. Shreve has skilfully juxtaposed the destruction of a state with the portrait of a bad marriage. The result is an evocative re-creation of post-war, pre-feminist American society. The Stars are Fire is the perfect weekend indulgence, and it’s the kind of book you won’t easily forget.

Softcover, 256 pages, 234 x 153 mm

Product Code: 110070

Club Price R272.00
Non Member R305.00

“1947. After a summer-long drought, fires are racing along the coast of Maine, ravaging two hundred thousand acres – the largest fire in the state’s history. Five months pregnant, Grace Holland is left alone to protect her two toddlers when her husband Gene joins the volunteers fighting to bring the fire under control. Along with her best friend, Rosie, and Rosie’s two young children, the women watch in horror as their houses go up in flames, then walk into the ocean as a last resort. They spend the night frantically trying to save their children. When dawn comes, they have miraculously survived, but their lives are forever changed: homeless, penniless, and left to face an uncertain future in a town that no longer exists. As Grace awaits news of her husband’s fate, she is thrust into a new world in which she must make a life on her own, beginning with absolutely nothing – she must find work, a home, a way to provide for her children. In the midst of 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.”



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