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3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  163 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Julie has an obsession with fire that began after her parents died when she was twelve years old. Her pyromania leads her to take an unlikely job as a forest firefighter on an elite, Type 1 “Hotshot” crew of forest firefighters who travel the American West battling wildfires. The only woman on the twenty person crew, Julie struggles both to prove her worth and find a place ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 7th 2014 by Skyhorse Publishing
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sep 19, 2014 Ian rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Absolutely everyone!
Railing against the path her grandmother has set for her, Julie joins a Hotshot crew, an elite team of remote area forest firefighters who use chainsaws and shovels to fight fire. At first the crew is uncertain about this woman intruding into their male dominated world but with determination and grit and a lot of hard work she manages to carve a niche for herself.

With the respect of her comrades she has everything she wants, but the job is dangerous and every time they fight fire, their lives ar
Jul 22, 2016 Amy rated it really liked it
Julie lost her parents to a horrible accident at age 12. In order to deal with her grief and to rebel against the grandmother who took her in, she engaged in fairly destructive behavior. Now in her early 20s, Julie has become the only woman on a 20 person Type 1 "Hotshot" crew of elite forest firefighters. Mary Pauline Lowry doesn't pull any punches in this gritty novel of a woman trying to find a place where she belongs and learn to live with her inner demons. The story is fascinating, the ...more
May 28, 2014 Ann rated it it was amazing
This is a story of a hotshot fire fighting team. The main character is Julie who drops out of college to join the crew. It is her story of growth and maturity. She makes friends and learns life isn't always fair. A wonderful book and an inside look at firefighting and how dangerous their lives have become.
Jan 18, 2015 Amy rated it it was ok
As the daughter of a hotshot, I had hoped this would be an interesting and entertaining behind-the-scenes story of forest firefighting, as well as a fish-out-of-water story for the heroine. In the end, though, it read more like a how-to book, filled with detail but no real story. The author clearly knows the world of firefighting, but the storytelling never pulled me into it. Just wasn't the book for me.
Darren Foster
Apr 23, 2016 Darren Foster rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do not remember what prompted me to get this book so I was unsure if I would enjoy it when I finally read it. I did. It was a good tale with believable and likable characters with a good story arch and it did not feel stretched out like some books lately have.
Aug 30, 2014 Jacqueline rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jordan Larsen
Dec 18, 2015 Jordan Larsen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: firefighting
I found this book on Audible. It was great to listen to !

When forests burn and mountains rage in hellish conflagrations, the unpredictable and malevolent force that is fire ignites a burning desire in the hearts of those who are bold and daring enough to confront it. This is the realm of an elite and rare breed of firefighters: The Hotshots. Wildland firefighting’s equivalent of the Marines, they are the quintessential hardcore grunts who are the tip of the spear when Mother Nature turns up th
David Peters
Oct 14, 2014 David Peters rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book like fire consumes a dry forest in August. The writing makes every detail so vivid and real. Lowry's dialog will always surprise you. The early chapters chronicle the main character's struggle to join a group of men whose bonds are forged in the crucible of fire. Lowry is masterful in this section. She made me feel the discord of the group in every sentence. As the story progressed, I found the intense fire-fighting scenes as enthralling as her internal struggles. I finished ...more
Mar 03, 2015 Stacey rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everybody
Recommended to Stacey by: Goodreads
Shelves: first-reads
I want to start by saying a big thank you to Goodreads First Reads and author Mary Pauline Lowry for the good fortune of winning a copy of this tremendous book. Wildfire centers around Julie, a young adult with a troubled background who is trying to find herself and wanting to belong. She goes to work for the Forestry Service as a "hotshot" forest firefighter. It was difficult for her initially, being the only girl on a crew of men, always having to prove herself. The cast of characters were ...more
Jan 24, 2015 Lea rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction-women
I really wanted to like this book. The author was a hotshot, I had high hopes; as a former wildland ff and a hotshot wife it's hard not to be annoyed when authors get things wrong. I'm not sure what year the book was set in, maybe knowing that would have made some of the crew/culture specifics make more sense. If I wasn't familiar with the wildfire world I would have glazed over the paragraphs full of terminology.
My biggest issue with this book is there's no real story. It's a fictional account
Aug 17, 2015 Nicole rated it really liked it
Not unlike a forest fire, this book started slowly for me. At first, I wasn't sure it was really going to be a thing of significance. The plot seemed a little thin, and I didn't think I was going to care all that much about the troubled, firefighting narrator and the band of rednecks she has to work with. But then, suddenly, WHOOSH, I was engulfed. Though the plot of the book never develops into anything complex, the characters become very real people and I soon found myself thinking about them ...more
Nov 08, 2015 Danica rated it really liked it
After her parents death and moving in with her aristocratic grandmother, Julie, is having a hard time findind a way to cope with her grief from the loss of her parents. Determined to have a life lead by her own choices, Julie eventually rebels, quits college and joins a hotshot forest firefighter team. Julie never imagined her life taking this direction, but is determined to prove herself to her new crew.
I gave this book a chance because I wanted to try out something different from the types of
Mar 23, 2016 Michele rated it really liked it
A fascinating story of a young woman, who, orphaned at a young age and raised by her maternal grandmother as a debutante, is forced to conform to high society rules. She courageously chooses to quit college and abandon the dreams of her grandmother, to follow her deepest desires of becoming a hotshot. She is challenged beyond measure as the only female member of a tight group of male firefighters, as they face harrowing tests of daring, strength and hardship. It takes a special type of person to ...more
Susan Arena
Jun 04, 2015 Susan Arena rated it really liked it
This is an absorbing novel about the life of a woman hotshot firefighter during her rookie season. It show the passion and team work necessary for these people to fight the huge fires we so often have in our western states. It also shows us the toughness and the loyalty of people from different backgrounds and how they can bond though the work and lives they live together. It was a wonderful summer read and I was engrossed in their adventures through a day of travel. The heart, soul and ...more
Darlene Cruz
Nov 09, 2014 Darlene Cruz rated it it was amazing
Wow, I could feel the heat, the intensity and how the story unfolded and grab a hold of you. Hotshot men and women fighting those devastating fires is something I cannot fathom at all. The courage and bravery and to be honest crazy fire fighting scenes just awe-inspiring. The characters in the story pretty much moved me. Yeah, dominated by men with women sparsely interwoven into the club, but eventually they become family. Very compelling and breathtaking story that left nothing but respect for ...more
Sandra Spicher
Dec 01, 2014 Sandra Spicher rated it it was amazing
Mary Lowry's majestic novel opens a window into a world I never dreamed existed. As a former wildland firefighter herself, the author writes with such power that readers feel the crackle of burning hair along with Julie, the protagonist, as she indulges her pyromaniac tendencies at the book's opening. And it gets better. Lowry balances the tension of Julie's personal pain with the physical realities of being female on a team with nineteen unforgettable men. Rockstar, Archie, and Big Sweet Sam ...more
Nov 21, 2015 Ceh131973 rated it it was amazing
[Wildfire] is a story of a young woman trying to escape her past and what is expected of her and finding where she belongs. It is a true coming of age novel of love, loss and discovery. [Mary Pauline Lowry] catches the true feeling of rebellion of the main character Julie as she tries to overcome the pain of her past with the Pikers, a hot shot crew, forest fire fighters who often hike or fly into the heart of fires all through fire season. This book kept me reading and was finished off in a ...more
Jul 25, 2015 Billie rated it really liked it
This review is based on a free copy of the book supplied through the Goodreads Advance Read program

This is a thrilling look into the elite firefighters who work tremendously long hours under the most extreme conditions to fight wild fires.

The author is one of those firefighters and allows us to enter this world that we would never see, or understand, in our normal course of events.

A thrilling story that will rock you.

Yvonne Ventresca
Dec 29, 2014 Yvonne Ventresca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
In her debut novel, Wildfire, Mary Pauline Lowry provides a behind-the-scenes look at the “hotshot” world of fighting forest fires. The main character, Julie, struggles to prove her worth in this male-dominated field, and her early failures make her journey that much more intriguing. Lowry succeeds in creating an incredibly realistic cast of characters and the story reads like a personal memoir – a testament to the author's unique experiences and her writing skills.
Tom Buckner
Aug 11, 2015 Tom Buckner rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Enjoyed the pace and exciting scenarios. I had a difficult time getting into the characters, even though the author tried hard to make them believable. The wildland firefighting was believable and exciting and had the pages turning quickly. The hotshot world is pretty exclusive and this book did manage to portray the hard work and long hours these firefighters do every year. Enjoyable!
Oct 11, 2014 Alejandro rated it it was amazing
Hey, literary world! More protagonists like this, please.

This novel is meaningful, honest, brave, and so much fun to read. The world of elite firefighters is so compelling and Lowry does such a great job of bringing it to life. It was an incredible ride.

You should read it. Right now.
Gene Sikora
May 02, 2015 Gene Sikora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Kudos to Ms. Lowry. This is an amazing book. Julie is such an authentic character - as are they all - I had to keep reminding myself that this is a novel, not a "real" memoir. It's about love and life and living on the edge. A must-read for everyone.
Karen Golec
Jun 25, 2015 Karen Golec rated it it was amazing
Many thanks to goodreads for my opportunity to win this book. Greatly enjoyed reading it. Had a great story line and very interesting characters. Would recommend to anyone as a very good read.
Paul D. Davenport

Well done. Good reading if you like stories about woodland fire fighting. It is realistically scary. I would recommend it .
Mar 08, 2015 Pam rated it it was amazing
I really love the girl power and the grit of this book; a female forest firefighter? Heck yeah!!
Oct 31, 2015 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book. Good story, good characters that I wanted to know and care about.
LInda L
Mar 05, 2016 LInda L rated it it was amazing
Great book -- sad at the end though. I cried. Lots about firefighting -- sometimes TOO much..
Oct 06, 2014 George rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sublime
Love it! Another great read from MPL.
Nov 01, 2016 Sharon rated it it was amazing
This is a kind of coming of age novel. A vivid description of what goes on at a wildfire and what the hotshot teams do. Julie feels alone without friends or parents, having been raised by a strict grandmother steeped in propriety. She flunks out of college just before graduation and decides to apply to a hotshot team since she has always been enamored with fire. She finds the family she longs for in the hotshot team of which she is the only woman. Great plot, salty language, but a great ...more
Nov 26, 2016 Christina rated it liked it
Odd. Not what I was expexting. It was pretty good book but it is sad and I wouldn't want to revisit it.
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Mary Pauline Lowry worked for two years as a forest firefighter on the elite Pike Interagency Hotshot Crew based on the Pike National Forest in Colorado. “Hotshots are the best-trained and best-equipped wildland firefighters, sometimes referred to as the Navy SEALs of their profession” (Rolling Stone Magazine).

Lowry has an M.A. in English (concentration Creative Writing) from the University of Te
More about Mary Pauline Lowry...

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