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After The Fire
J.A. Jance
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After The Fire

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  189 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Decades ago, J. A. Jance published some poems in a thin chapbook, not yet ready to tell the world directly about the terrible struggles in her life. At last, she's telling the whole story, in a narrative that explains what was happening in her life as she created each poem. She explores her past with burning words set in the dust of the Arizona desert, revealing in the pro ...more
Audio Cassette, 0 pages
Published November 28th 2005 by Sound Library (first published January 1st 1984)
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(showing 1-29 of 398)
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This very short memoir includes poetry written by this author, as well as telling of her first marriage to a man who had a dangerous affair with alcohol. Ms. Jance was forbidden to write during those years, as her husband insisted he was going to be the only author in the family. But she did write poetry during this difficult time in her life, and flushes the poetry out with descriptions of what was going on at that time. I enjoyed this audio version.
Aug 09, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-hard-copy
I don't like poetry in general. To me, most poetry comes off as thinking it is Better Than You, which I find annoying. However, I attended a book signing for JA Jance's latest mystery novel and she had these available as well. She told us that the poems were written when she was struggling with divorcing an alcoholic spouse--and I knew I needed to read them. I knew that this book would be healing to me. My former spouse is not an alcoholic, but he is/was utterly self absorbed--and as it turns ou ...more
Dec 04, 2013 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poetry has always been a struggle for me, but I thoroughly appreciated Ms. Jance's narratives. I have had friends suffer through similar marriages and divorces, and although I hurt for them, I never truly understood. Thanks to the vulnerable and open sharing of AFTER THE FIRE, I think I understand much more now. I'm also encouraged by the happiness and success that Ms. Jance has experienced in the second half of her life.
Dec 29, 2015 Scott rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Reading J.A. Jance's brief memoir coupled with her poetry will certainly get you closer to her and understanding her early life and influences. It centers on her first marriage to an alcoholic and domineering husband who forbid her to do any writing. It wasn't until 13 or so years later that her legion of fans got to meet JP Beaumont in her first mystery, "Until Proven Guilty." The writing is brief and the poems straight forward in their message's simplicity. To read her poems is to know what sh ...more
Jan 29, 2016 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't often read poetry, but I read this book because I met the author about a year ago. I enjoyed the poems. They made me think quite a lot about the parallels between widowhood and divorce. As awful as it is to lose the person you love through death, it strikes me that divorce might be even worse. I especially liked her prose in "Daybreak" and her poem "Benediction." Jance's loss was through divorce, and mine was through death, but the reading revealed to me that our feelings were similar.
Jun 20, 2014 Cyndi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
I decided to try a JA Jance book and the first one I pick up is actually a book of poems, not exactly what she is known for. The poems were written mostly during her marriage to her alcoholic first husband and after his death. I am not a fan of poetry but enjoyed the preface to the poems which put the words into context. I found them strong, beautiful, sometimes raw but simple enough for me to understand. Now to try a murder mystery......
After the Fire: A Memoir in Poetry and Prose is a collection of poetry written during the the author's dysfunctional first marriage and its aftermath. Each poem is accompanied by a short reflection on the poem's context and meaning. The author's emotional experience is one that many women who have been through a bad relationship may connect to. This was a nice short, quick read and an inspiring story of coming through the fire.
Marcy Baker
Sep 06, 2014 Marcy Baker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sincere appreciation

Behind the scenes, the real life of the author. Addiction, single parenting, death, grief, losses, and moving through life. Wow, I always loved her books and identified with the characters. Now I get the authors story, and how her journey has shaped her writing. I have been down a very similar path and was very moved by this book. Thank you for sharing your life and talent with us.
Dec 23, 2015 Judy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I suppose I should have expected to just be okay with this book since I don't really care for poetry, but I thought the added narrative might be interesting and I love all of Jance's fiction books. There were parts I enjoyed more than others (parts I found a bit monotonous and whiny), but ironically enough, I felt motivated to write a haiku for Christmas when I was done. I guess it affected me more than I thought.
That fire can cleanse as well as destroy is no mystery to J. A. Jance. Before she found fame as a best-selling mystery author, Judith Jance wrestled with the personal anguish of being married to an alcoholic. For years she composed poetry in secret and kept it locked away. Finally it was published as After the Fire in 1984, the year before her debut novel. After the Fire c
Mar 21, 2014 Nora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not familiar with Ms. Jance as a mystery writer and will now read some of her other work out of respect for this wonderfully written memoir. She describes various events in her life, and shares the poems she wrote to cope with the darkness of her marriage to an alcoholic.
Doranne Long
Mar 28, 2015 Doranne Long rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recently met J.A. Jance at a booksigning event; she shared some her life experiences. This memoir in poetry and prose, After the Fire, captures many of her heart-breaking stories and her ability to have been touched by fire, and yet rise above the ashes.
Feb 22, 2009 SteffieStar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very Powerfull Poems!! A lot of them hit close to home for me. I got married at 18, right out of High School. Took me 22 yrs to get the balls to leave him, he gave me many reasons...emotional abuse, affairs. Why do we stay?? The one and only thing I can give him brownie points for was his being an AWESOME father to our to children(son/30 & Daughter/28)

I am a changed woman with a husband who loves & adores me, we have been together 13 yrs..Feb. 14th! Married since 8-7-2003!

So to say the l
Kerrie Bethel
Apr 27, 2015 Kerrie Bethel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't realize that it was the same J.A. Jance that writes all the mystery novels I see every day at work (library). Her poetry is raw and real, and hard to really rate. But I know I'll visit some of them many times, and there are phrases that capture the reality of brokenness in systems and in self that I'll never forget.

Worth the read. I'll be picking up some of her novels.
Nov 26, 2014 Jeanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting biographical reading by the author. Audiobook.
Sep 22, 2014 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wonderful !
Apr 30, 2009 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rental-overdrive
Insightful - I wish every author wrote the way J.A. Jance does in this book. She puts a lot of her self into this one. She tells about where she was and what was happening at the time of the writing. She brings up passed abuses (hers) and the accusation of abuse (her daughter's at the hands of her ex-husband).

A must read for anyone who likes reading J.A. Jance and even those who haven't read her.
Kristin (Kritters Ramblings)
Although I don't normally read books written in poetry or prose, I couldn't pass this one up being as it came from an author who I have greatly enjoyed and I love to read about authors.

For me, a reader who doesn't do poetry much, the added benefit of her telling the story behind the poem, about the time and setting with which it was written was perfect!

It was simple, small and perfect to read in one sitting. I wouldn't mind reading more of these biographies of authors that I enjoy.
Oct 09, 2013 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These are poems Jance wrote in the early years of her first marriage which was to an alcoholic telling of her anguish as well as her enabling, some due to the time period (1950's and 60's) when unnecessary burdens were place on women to maintain their marriages no matter what. And shockingly, considering what a popular author she now is, she was denied admission to the Writing School at the U of Arizona because they refused to allow women.
May 04, 2013 A rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very well done book of poems and very insightful for those living and dealing with an alcoholic, especially a spouse. Although I have never dealt with such a situation, the poems expressed Jance's thoughts and feelings so well that I could understand and feel her frustrations and why she stayed in the marriage so long. Unfortunately, one of her children could not.
Dec 07, 2009 Devon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I loved this book which is really a record of the difficulties in Ms. Jance's marriage and the poems she wrote at the time about what was happening and how she felt. A good read. On the flyleaf it says: "Devon: my #1 Canadian fan." (She autographed it for me using my words, I must admit.)
Jun 30, 2013 Marjorie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very nice presentation and good poetry. At least the poetry appealed to me, which a lot does not.
Very personal and honest revelations of Judith's background, views, changes, growth, and gratefulness.
Good choice as a gift to someone coping with grief.
Judith Kerr
Aug 22, 2011 Judith Kerr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These poems are a moving account of Judy Jance`s heartaches during her marriage to an alcoholic. I was moved to tears as I read her soul reveaing feelings. Now I can understand some of her characters in the books she has written since that time. ...more
Oct 06, 2013 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding collection of poetry from one of my favorite authors. Jance shares her heart and soul and I felt much admiration for her courage and strength.
Adrienne Teague
I don't feel like it's great poetry, but the feelings it inspires are genuine, and I think that's what matters most.
Mar 27, 2011 Jeanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An ugly but true revelation of spousal abuse. A must read for giving spirits.
Nov 08, 2009 7thhvn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
heard her speak and sing remarkable for her age...
May 01, 2010 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This a book of poetry written by J A Jance. They are moving, emotional, emotion filled words. She takes you on a personal journey through parts of her own life. It moved me very much.
Ruth added it
Jan 21, 2016
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Judith Ann Jance is the top 10 New York Times bestselling author of the Joanna Brady series; the J. P. Beaumont series; three interrelated thrillers featuring the Walker family; and Edge of Evil, the first in a series featuring Ali Reynolds. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.

* J.P. Beaumont
* Joann
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