I'm taking part in the blog tour for the fantastic new book by Anita Shreve - The Stars are Fire* which is published by Little Brown on 2nd May. You can see the other bloggers taking part on the poster below.
"1947. Fires are racing along the coast of Maine after a summer-long drought, ravaging thousands of acres, causing unprecedented confusion and fear.
Five months pregnant, Grace Holland is left alone to protect her two toddlers when her difficult and unpredictable 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.
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".
The story is set in Maine in 1947 and is based on real life events. After a long hot summer forest fires rage all along the coast from town to village.
Grace Holland and her friend Rosie and their children flee as their homes burn. They head to the ocean and take refuge in the sea to keep themselves safe from the flames. Their husbands Gene and Tim are away fighting the fires.
Overnight they find themselves homeless and penniless. Grace has no idea where her husband is. She is shocked but feels a sense of freedom being away from controlling Gene. With her mother's help they move into the house which was her mother-in-laws which had passed to Gene after her recent death.
Grace finds herself a job, moves on and is happy. She has a brief encounter with a wonderful man and realises what's missing from her marriage. Things shift again and Grace draws on her inner strength to get though this terrible time where she sees no end to her misery. She finally makes a decision based on what's best for her and her children and has the strength and courage to move on.
I absolutely loved the story and the characters and raced through the book in two sittings. Highly recommend - it really is a great read.
*I received a complimentary e-copy of the book for review via Netgalley