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Fire by Night (Refiners Fire, Book 2) Paperback – November 1, 2003

414 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Refreshing, atypical heroines in absorbing parallel plots...well-written...highly recommended for all collections." -- Library Journal, November 1, 2003

From the Back Cover

Two young women in a land shattered by war test the limits of their strength

Lovely Julia Hoffman has always enjoyed the carefree life of her well-to-do Philadelphia family. But when she fails to attract the attention of Nathaniel Greene, a fierce abolitionist, she shocks her family by becoming a Union nurse. Will that be enough to win Nathaniel's heart?

Phoebe Bigelow, from western Virginia, has always been a misfit, and when her brothers join the Union army, she also enlists--under false pretenses.

Soon, both have their eyes opened to the realities of war and suffering. Neither is quite ready for the demands of her new life, but their journeys of sacrifice and love are sure to change them in unexpected ways. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; Reprinted edition (November 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556614438
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556614439
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (414 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #849,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped. Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.

Extended family is also very important to Austin, and it was a lively discussion between Lynn, her mother, grandmother, and daughter concerning the change in women's roles through the generations that sparked the inspiration for her novel Eve's Daughters.

Along with reading, two of Lynn's lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue graduate studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Eight of her historical novels have won Christy Awards for excellence in Christian Fiction: Hidden Places (2001), Candle in the Darkness (2002), Fire by Night (2003), A Proper Pursuit (2007), Until We Reach Home (2008), Though Waters Roar (2009) While We're Far Apart (2010), and Wonderland Creek (2011). Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005. Lynn's novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By K. Kroeker on December 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
Out of ten I'd have to rate this book a 15! It didn't take long before I was so involved in the lives of Julia Hoffman and Phoebe Bigelow that I could not put this book down.

These two women couldn't be more different. Julia is from a well-to-do Philadelphia family and Phoebe, well to use the author's words, "....was as homely and horsefaced as a hound dog - and she knew it." How could you not love someone like that?

The story begins at Bull Run, Virginia, July 21, 1861. Julia along with her uncle, a Congressman and a family friend, as well as the very handsome, not to mention single Reverend Nathaniel Greene have come to "watch the war."

Julia has been in love with the Reverend since he was first assigned to their church the year before. She makes an impression on the Reverend but it is not the one she'd hoped for. After witnessing the war first hand and the wounded soldiers it left in its path, Julia became physically ill. Stating she didn't care about helping the wounded men and that she just wanted to get away from there, wasn't what Nathaniel wanted to hear.

Later, when Julia over hears Nathaniel telling the congressman he thinks she is shallow, spoiled, and unbearably self-absorbed she sets out to not only prove him wrong, but to get him fired!

What follows is an extraordinary story of change, courage and self-realization that will keep you on the edge of your seat and not wanting to close this book.

Meanwhile, Phoebe has been taken to the Haggertys. A family who she is to stay with and tend to their countless children while her three brothers go off to help fight the war. Feeling trapped and unhappier than she ever has, Phoebe flees by night to Western Pennsylvania to enlist!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Eowyn of Rohan on February 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
Though I enjoyed the first book in this series, "Candle in the Darkness," book 2, "Fire by Night," is even better. It is told from the perspectives of two women: one being the spoiled, selfish and weathly Julia Hoffman who desperately wants to change her ways in order to earn the favor of a handsome reverend, the other, a dirt-poor, six-foot-tall farmer's daughter called Phoebe Bigelow who more than anything else wishes she were a man.

This book was flawless--I could not put it down. If you are someone who "enjoys books about girls who dress up like boys and join the army," then this book is for you!! It was also interesting to see Julia's journey from a spoiled brat to a kind, wise woman with a heart for caring for people. The most touching part of the story, however, is Dr. McGrath, a strange, moody doctor whom Julia knows hates her...or does he? In all, this book had beautiful character development.

Highly recommended.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mom Who Reads A Lot on June 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this novel, much better than the 1st in the series. The book gives an account of 2 women from the North during the Civil War. A nice surprise is that the author pulled in a few characters from the 1st novel (Candle in the Darkness) and Julia Hoffman (Caroline's cousin who was the main character from the 1st book in the series) is one of the main characters. Phoebe is a new character introduced.

Although Julia is initially a shallow, spoiled, self-absorbed young woman whose mission is to get married she matures into one with character, depth, and conviction. Her ultimate desire to do what God calls her to do. It was interesting to see the hypocrisy revealed in Nathaniel Greene's character and the discovery of Dr. James McGrath's true character.

Phoebe is an endearing character who disguises herself as a male soldier. She has a great one liners and it's easy to imagine her southern West Virginia drawl as she says them. Her relationship with Ted is so endearing.

Although Julia and Phoebe's characters are developed separately in the first half of the book they are drawn together the second half. I liked the ending. I wish this author would do a follow-up summary that tells one how the lives of the characters ultimately end up, like Francine Rivers does in her books. Other than that this is another good historical fiction novel.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Christian Bookshelf on March 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
In the second novel, from her Refiner's Fire series, Lynn Austin spins a captivating tale of two unlikely heros caught up in the horrors of the Civil War. This one is even better than its prequel, Candle in the Darkness.
In Fire by Night, Mrs. Austin, most successfully, parallels two seperate plots that converge beautifully as the lives of two women, from opposite ends of society, are brought together amidst the living hell of the battlefield.
Julia Hoffman, the spoiled, self-centered daughter of Judge Hoffman is smitten by the young and good looking Reverend Nathaniel Greene. But after her behavior while observing the battle at Bull Run, Reverend Greene wants nothing to do with her. Her pride is sorely wounded when she overhears Nathaniel discussing her with Congressman Rhoades, an influential friend of her father. "Forgive me for being so blunt, but I find it to be a true assessment of most of the young ladies in Miss Hoffman's social position. They can't--or won't--do a thing for themselves, whether it's combing their own hair or fixing a cup of tea....Outward beauty rarely lasts a lifetime, Congressman, and then what would I be left with once it fades? A whining, nagging wife wrapped up in her own needs, whose only passions are spending money and spreading gossip?"
His words are the catylyst that send Julia into a world of the unknown where she discovers the true meaning of being a Christian.
Phoebe, named after her dead mother, has never known what it's like to love or be loved. Raised by her backwoods father and three older brothers, "Ike", the name her father gave her after her mother died, is the tom-boy of all tom-boys. She inherited her father's genes and is the tallest woman for miles around.
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