Review: Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Synopsis and Details:

From the New York Timesbestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel about family, hope, and learning to love against all odds. 

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 excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated.

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 handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because she doesn’t fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don’t date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she’s worked so hard to be taken seriously?

Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt, affecting novel about life, love, and the true meaning of courage.

Genres: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Romance  |  Release Date: August 13, 2019  |  Publisher: St. Martin’s Press  | Pages: 320  |  ISBN: 978-1250047328  |  ASIN: B07J4WHC78  |  Format: ARC  |  Source: Netgalley

Review with Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Things You Save in a Fire is one of those books that, if I could, I’d give it a ten-star rating! I would, honestly, there is no limit on the stars for this book! I loved getting to know Cassie Hanwell. From the start she was a take charge character but there was also an underlying sense of vulnerability in her that was only expressed in a passive way. It was her unwillingness to allow anyone into her life both literally and figuratively that was the real clue that underneath her calm and controlled exterior there were troubled waters. Troubles that came out in an explosive way that was slightly confusing in the moment but as the story progressed it was really a “you go, girl!” type of situation.

Cassie’s questionable choice came with consequences that threatened everything that she held dear. Backed into a corner, Cassie made a Hail Mary type of request in hopes of holding onto a shred of everything she had spent years building. Although she was unhappy with the situation, she was relieved that she might be able to salvage what she could of her career. Now, all she had to do was figure out how she was going to deal with living with the woman that she closed her heart off to years ago. When her mother called asking her to leave everything to help her for a year, Cassie did not realize that her choices would start her on a life path that she would never have conceived for herself.

When Cassie moved to Rockport, a town outside of Boston, Massachusetts, all she wanted to do was keep her head down and do her job as a firefighter. She knew to expect a challenge in her new work place but she never expected that her challenge would be both professional and personal. She had intended to keep her heart as hard as stone, keep everyone at arm’s distance and do her time but neither her time in the new fire department or with her mother were what she had expected. Day by day Cassie’s outlook shifted, bit by bit her hardened exterior cracked and she allowed her vulnerable self to step forward. As time passed Cassie came to understand that she needed this transformation, that nothing would ever be the same for her, and that, ultimately, it was a welcomed change.

I will just reiterate that I loved reading Things You Save in a Fire! This story was filled with meaning, solid characters, humor, struggle, suspense, and tragedy. There were many times where I just laughed out loud with the shenanigans that were pulled at the Boston fire department, what an interesting group of guys. There was plenty of tension in Cassie’s life but the reasons for the tension are not what you would expect. I did like how the experience at both work and home was not what Cassie had prepared herself for because what she was expecting was not something that I was sure I wanted to be a part of. One thing I wish would have been different was to have known Owen’s inner thoughts. At the start he seemed just kinda “there” but that quickly resolved itself and by the end I knew how he felt with a certainty, which I loved! Overall, Things You Save in a Fire was such a moving read that will remind you that forgiveness is not easily given but the rewards from such an act of bravery is priceless.

*Thank you to St. Martin’s Press & NetGalley for this eARC of Things You Save in a Fire*

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This review is based on a complimentary book I received. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.

🖋 ❤️ ✒️

About the Author:

Author Katherine Center
Photo ©: Skylar Reeves

Katherine Center is the author of several novels about love and family: The Bright Side of Disaster, Everyone Is Beautiful, Get Lucky, and The Lost Husband. Her books and essays have appeared in RedbookPeopleUSA TodayVanity Fair, and Real Simple—as well as the anthologies Because I Love HerCRUSH, and My Parents Were Awesome. Katherine is a graduate of Vassar College and the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program. She lives in Houston with her husband and two sweet children.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Instagram

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