Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center — book review

Things You Save in a Fire was a heart-warming if occasionally cheesy read. Untitled drawing (1).jpg

“For the first time, I understood. In all the times I’d remembered that story, I’d experienced every single part of it from my own perspective, standing in my own sixteen-year-old shoes. Now, for the first time, I saw it unfold from a new angle. ”

Katherine Center’s writing easily transports her readers into a compelling tale of strength—both physical and emotional—and forgiveness. The story is narrated by Cassie Hanwell, a female firefighter who dedicates her life to her job. Being a firefighter is everything for Cassie so when she is forced to leave her Texas firehouse and move to Boston to help her estranged mother…well, things don’t go so smoothly. Her fraught relationship with her mother hides years of hurt…so Cassie isn’t keen on patching things up with her mother. Worse still, her new job at the Boston firehouse proves just as challenging. Cassie has to prove herself to her all-male team time and again, often working twice as hard to prove that she is just as capable as her male counterparts.

Cassie’s voice is compelling and likeable. She constantly questions herself, her motivation, and her choices, and is unafraid of criticising her own behaviour and/or reassessing her opinion of others. She is brave, righteous, and surprisingly amusing.
Her story is moving and funny, with plenty of serious moments…Cassie struggles with her new reality as well as past traumas. Falling in love with rookie, a sweet and handsome firefighter newbie, further complicates matters. Although the romance is insta-lovey I still rooted for Cassie and found her budding relationship with rookie to be heartwarming.

Towards the end the plot ends up taking a turn which I didn’t particularly like…yet, in spite of the cheesy finale, which is far too neat and squeaky clean, I enjoyed listening to this and I will definitely be picking up other novels by Center.

My rating: ★★★✰✰ 3.25 stars

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