Unexpectedly Heartwarming | Review of Things You Save in a Fire
Publication Date: August 13th, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press #partner
Page Count: 316
Why I Picked It Up: I loved Center’s last book, How to Walk Away, and was eager to see how her latest novel held up!
Synopsis: (From Amazon)- Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she's seen her fair share of them, and she's a total pro at other people's tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to give up her whole life and move to Boston, Cassie suddenly has an emergency of her own.
The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie's old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren't exactly thrilled to have a "lady" on the crew—even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the infatuation-inspiring rookie, who doesn't seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can't think about that. Because love is girly, and it’s not her thing. And don’t forget the advice her old captain gave her: Never date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping...and it means risking it all—the only job she’s ever loved, and the hero she’s worked like hell to become.
Katherine Center's Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt and healing tour-de-force about the strength of vulnerability, the nourishing magic of forgiveness, and the life-changing power of defining courage, at last, for yourself.
Opening Sentence: “The night I became the youngest person- and the only female ever- to win the Austin Fire Department’s valor award, I got propositioned by my partner.”
My Thoughts: Things You Save in a Fire had a lot to live up to; I enjoyed How to Walk Away so much. I love the way the author is able to create realistic and relatable characters and story arcs. Cassie is a firefighter and a badass at her craft. She fell in love with the profession when she was nearing the end of high school and has worked to be at the top of her game. She’s a self- proclaimed adrenaline junkie, and although she wouldn’t admit it, the high pressure job of firefighting provides a great distraction for her. When she was 16, her mother left her and her father to go live with another man that she was in love with. Cassie has spent the majority of her life trying to get over that pain and has come to love the life she’s built in Austin. But everything goes into a tailspin when her estranged mother asks her to move in with her to help with her health problems. The sleepy New England town her mother has built her new life in is a far cry from the weirdness of Austin, but Cassie agrees to go. She’s tasked with building a whole new life and to make matters worse, she’s got to win the respect of the traditionally masculine boys club fire house she transferred to. I found this to be a great book to read in the summer. I wasn’t expecting it, but the story had a great balance of humor, depth, and romance. The family drama angle was authentic and unexpectedly heartwarming. It’s a story about being a fighter and about forgiveness. Life is long but it’s much too short to waste time on grudges and on being anything less than who you are. As a bonus, I thought the author captured the first responder experience-specifically that of a female firefighter- really well. Recommend!
Find me here!