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Things You Save in a Fire: A Novel Hardcover – August 13, 2019
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"Devoted" by Dean Koontz
For the first time in paperback, from Dean Koontz, the master of suspense, comes an epic thriller about a terrifying killer and the singular compassion it will take to defeat him. | Learn more
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Praise for Things You Save in a Fire:
The Washington Post's "The 10 Books to Read in 2019 Based on What You Loved in 2018"
The Hollywood Reporter's "2019 Books to Keep on Your Radar"
She Reads' "Most Anticipated Books of 2019"
Good Housekeeping's "25 Best New Books of Summer 2019"
USA Today's "Must Read Women's Fiction of 2019"
Bookbub's "31 of the Biggest Books Coming Out This Summer"
The Nerd Daily's "Most Anticipated Reads of 2019"
An August 2019 LibraryReads Pick!
"Oh, how I love Katherine Center’s writing…and her newest novel is a gem...a story that reminds us that the word emergency has, at its heart, a new beginning. Just read it, and thank me later.” ―Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of A Spark of Light and Small Great Things
“Center gives readers a sharp and witty exploration of love and forgiveness that is at once insightful, entertaining, and thoroughly addictive.” ―Kirkus, starred review
"A compelling love story, a tearjerking twist, and a thoroughly absorbing story. Another winner from Center." ―Booklist, starred review
"An emotionally resonant and deeply satisfying love story...a moving testament to the power of forgiveness." ―BookPage
“A spirited, independent heroine meets a smoking-hot fireman in Center’s smart romance… If you enjoyed ‘The Kiss Quotient,’ by Helen Hoang, read Things You Save in a Fire”’ ― The Washington Post
“Center crafts a heartfelt story of growth and the redemptive power of love perfect for fans of women’s fiction, especially works by Jodi Picoult and Elin Hilderbrand.” ― Library Journal
"The novel is at its best in the fire station...its window into firefighter culture is fascinating. But Things You Save In a Fire has a greater ambition, too: shedding a light on trauma victims and the devastating effects of ignoring emotional fallout from a harrowing experience." - Newsday
“Katherine Center's funny, unabashedly sentimental romance unfolds between Cassie, the only woman firefighter in her town, and a new rookie on the squad.” ― Refinery29
“A novel as vibrant as its cover.” – Bustle
“[Things You Save in a Fire] is not only delightfully romantic, but also courageous and inspiring.” – The Christian Science Monitor
“An emotional story of self-discovery and forgiveness.” ― Fresh Fiction
“Things You Save in a Fire is a profound tale of how a woman makes it in a man's world.” ― The New York Journal of Books
“A wonderful exploration of personal vulnerability and strength that takes the reader along on Cassie's journey … Things You Save in a Fire is sure to be a hit.” ― Shelf Awareness
"I don’t even know how to explain how much I adored this book...This is a story of love, of family, and of learning how to be vulnerable―and trust me, Cassie’s life journey is one you don’t want to miss.” ―Siobhan Jones, Book of the Month Club
Praise for How to Walk Away:
"A marvelous example of acceptance and healing and a celebration of family." ―USA Today
"Center explores the limits of hope and love...[she] transforms the story of a family tragedy into a heartfelt guide to living the fullest life possible." ―Publisher's Weekly
"With its appealing characters and wisdom about grappling with life’s challenges, Center’s sixth novel has all the makings of a breakout hit." ―Booklist (starred review)
"A story about survival that is heartbreakingly honest and wryly funny, perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Elizabeth Berg." ―Kirkus
- Item Weight : 1.13 pounds
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250047323
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250047328
- Product Dimensions : 6.39 x 1.11 x 9.59 inches
- Publisher : St. Martin's Press (August 13, 2019)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #171,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center is what I call - from beginning to end - a beautifully crafted novel.
I love every single thing about this book. It has an amazing heroine, a great storyline, and a fantastic ending. Yes, these are my opinions and I can stand behind them 100%.
Why haven't I read any of Katherine Center's books before? How in the world is this possible? Don't worry about it, I'll correct this huge oversight very quickly.
Let's get to the story.
Our heroine, Cassie Hanwell (who's freaking amazing!) is fantastic at her job. She's a firefighter and a paramedic. She has worked hard to be where she's at. She doesn't date and she doesn't fall in love. Love makes you weak and she can't let anyone hurt her again. Her mother abandoned Cassie and her father on her sixteen's birthday. She has never forgiven her mother and she doesn't think she ever will. For Cassie, there's nothing else but her job and her firefighter family.
When Things You Save in a Fire begins, Cassie is about to receive the Valor Award for her bravery after saving children trapped in a bus. Her engine family (B-shift from Station Eleven) is with her, supporting her. Then, the absolute worst happens. The next day, her captain is telling her she has 2 choices. The first choice, she either apologizes or she gets fired. The second choice, if there are no charges filed against her, she can be transferred out. Cassie has no choice but to accept her second choice. She will have to leave Austin, the job she loves and her friends and move to Massachusetts with her mother whom she has barely spoken to in ten years and start a new job in a new town where only men are supposed to be firefighters.
As a farewell, her captain gives her advise in the form of a list of rules to follow with her new squad.
“My best advice to you? Find one person you can count on. Just one.”
Cassie knows she's up to the challenge until her first day when she meets the new rookie.
“Firefighter Hanwell, are you proposing that we snuggle?”
Things You Save in a Fire is so much more than a romance. It's about forgiveness, self-respect, family relationships and believing in doing the right thing above all. The narrative was superb, the characters were fantastic. I fell in love with Cassie. She's my new girl crush. She didn't apologize for knowing she was good at something. She fought for her job and she recognized that loving the right someone can you give strength and not weakness.
“The answer wasn’t to never love anyone.
It was to love like crazy whenever you could.”
In the dedication, the author writes that if it wasn't for her husband, the book would be much shorter. Until about 2/3rds of the way through I wished it was shorter. The story is mainly told using a stream of consciousness style, with the main character supposedly looking back and recounting what happened. This is new to me and kind of engaging at first, but it got awfully dull after a while.
I also wish the main character had never recounted what happened to her as a teenager. We can all guess. And to tell it to a misogynist? A misogynist who has no connection to the event at all? Who does not use it against her in any way? It is a story, and one of the joys of stories is the ability to shape worlds, but this just seemed weird to me.
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.
This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.
Top reviews from other countries
Cassie is one of the only female firefighters in a firehouse in Texas, but after a call from her estranged mother and request to come home, she finds herself in a new firehouse in Boston. We cycle through the issues with her new role in a more traditional 'men's firehouse' and the problems that go with it. Center covered a range of issues in the workplace, family drama and romance. Her relationship with her mother and how it unfolds was so touching. I laughed, I cried and I just couldn't wait to see what would happen next. I don't think my review can do this one justice, all I can say is, go read it! Definitely one I recommend.
Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for this gifted copy.
You can find my reviews on Goodreads and Instagram @storiesandstacks