REVIEW – Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Things You Save in a Fire

Expected publication: August 13th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press


“Saving lives was easy. Saving herself was another story”.

What a fantastic read!

Cassie Hanwell is a firefighter with the Austin Fire Department. She is a very busy and independent woman.  Her co-workers think she’s lonely, but she tells them she’s happy with the way things are.

Cassie is about to receive the Austin Fire Department’s Valor Award. She is the FIRST female to ever win this prestigious award. Cassie is anxiously waiting for them to call her to the stage to receive her award from the Mayor.  However, an announcement is made saying that someone else will be giving Cassie the award. When Cassie sees who it is she’s shocked. But the shock wears off quickly…

What happens next is COMPLETELY unexpected.

On top of everything else, Cassie’s mother has been trying to get in touch with her. Cassie and her mother are far from close so she’s stunned when her mother says “I need you to come to Massachusetts to live with me”. She has some health issues and needs Cassie’s help. She asks Cassie to think it over. Cassie says she doesn’t need any time to think…the answer is no.

Unfortunately, before she knows it she’s moving to Boston.

Cassie will be working at the Lillian Fire Department, where she’s needed but not wanted.  The LFD has NEVER had a woman firefighter. Cassie is determined to prove she can do the job just as well as they can. She is advised to do anything she can to keep from reminding them that she’s a woman (no makeup, no long hair, no jewelry…etc) but she also shouldn’t back down, get offended, or show fear. Will Cassie be able to deal with the “good old boys” and their archaic ideas?

“So, to succeed in my new job, I basically need to be an asexual, androgynous, human robot that’s dead to all physical and emotional sensation.”

Easy peasy… right?

Soon some surprising feelings have Cassie rethinking many parts of her life. Is it possible that she may even end up breaking the biggest rule of all?

Cassie survived her past by never talking about it with ANYONE. She closed off many parts of herself so then she wouldn’t get hurt. But could she be missing out on something wonderful?

Every now and then a story comes along that gets me right in the heart. “Things You Save in a Fire” is that kind of story.

I’ve said it before but I really do love the way Katherine Center writes about the messy parts of life with such honesty. The storyline was well-written and there were many great relatable characters. From the laugh out loud moments to the heartbreaking moments, this story had me gripped until I finished the very last page.

Things You Save in a Fire”  is a heart-warming, gut-wrenching, and hilarious story about healing, family, forgiveness, courage, and love.

I’d like to thank St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an advanced copy of this novel. All views are my own.

21 thoughts on “REVIEW – Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

  1. Excellent review, Dee! I love this plot. My husband is a fireman and I can still remember when their first female firefighter came on crew. It was just as this character describes. This cover gets me everytime too. Glad you loved it! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

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