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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.3 out of 5
5 Stars
31 reviews have 5 stars
4 Stars
20 reviews have 4 stars
3 Stars
8 reviews have 3 stars
2 Stars
2 reviews have 2 stars
1 Star
1 reviews have 1 stars

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All Book Reviews

  • Magnificent!

    Beautifully written story based on the wild fires that struck the coast of Maine in 1947. A spellbinding story of family, love, desire and friendship.

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Stars are Fire

    A story of life in post war New England revolving around a marriage. Wonderful character development during periods of hardship. Kept rooting for this poor heroine.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Fascinating, but also disappointing

    I am a big Anita Shreve fan, so I looked forward to reading this book. It was horrifying (the fire and subsequent aching, never to be healed, loss), it was funny, in parts, it was serious and thoughtful, in parts. Overall, I was disappointed in this book and do not consider it among her best works, and I'll tell you why. In the time she was writing, most people would have had a Judeo-Christian upbringing and background, and faith in and love for God would be a driving force for the vast majority of people, that faith and love coloring, literally, every viewpoint and action that a person has and does. She dismisses this idea out of hand for her characters, for some reason. It would have made a fascinating look at an historical event (viewed through the eyes of her characters), that much more compelling. Instead, with no moral framework for the lives of the wife, the wife's mother, the husband, the husband's mother, I felt the book fell flat. Without the framework most often held by folks of that post-war generation, especially in times of crisis, what are we left with? We are left with how people are with no hope, no faith, no love. They are flat, sad people, in every way. Joy and even contentment are fleeting and life, as a consequence, is bleak, as it naturally would be. A committed Christian married couple does not marry in haste, nor rashly, typically. Children are a blessing from God, not a burden. Christian men take the command to 'love your wife as your own body' very seriously, and Christian women happily and joyfully are their husband's 'help meet'. Additionally, a view of wealth in a Christian framework is grounded in the idea that all you have is a blessing and gift from God and to be shared willingly, happily, responsibly, to those in your reach to help. I realize not everyone in the world is a Christian person, not in the time the book was written, and not now, and that is fine, as far as it goes. But, it felt lazy to not address, not to research, the prevailing belief system of the time. The topics of infidelity, mental illness and the idea that you help your neighbor when he is down, become all the more rich viewed through the lens of a people, by and large, of faith. Then, the words in the traditional marriage vows, to love each other in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, to cling to each other, forsaking all others, until death parts you, those all take on much more depth and nuance in the setting of the book and would have made a longer and more satisfying read, had her characters in her book had to grapple with life from a Judeo-Christian perspective. It is still Anita Shreve, and I do enjoy her writing very much, so I did give the book four stars, just because she writes powerfully and the book is definitely food for much thought.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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  • THE STARS ON FIRE

    ONE OF HER BEST BOOK EVER! I WAS TOTALLY ENGROSSED IN THE STORY AND THE FEELINGS SHE FELT AS AN ABUSED WIFE. IT HAD A HAPPY ENDING. MORE OFTEN THEN NOT THEY DONT.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Excellent story line

    Excellent book! I really felt for the woman in the story - being married to such a loser.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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