Ginny Messina's Reviews > Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894

Under a Flaming Sky by Daniel James Brown
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May 24, 09

it was amazing
bookshelves: history, disasters
Read in May, 2009

In late summer of 1894, towering flames stretching many miles wide ripped through a string of small communities in northern Minnesota, obliterating the towns and killing hundreds of people. In the town of Hinckley, people escaped on two trains, one of which was already in flames by the time it pulled out of the station in a desperate attempt to reach a lake 5 miles away.

Author Daniel Brown grew up with this story since his grandfather survived the fire as a child. If you liked The Children’s Blizzard you'll probably like this, too. Brown uses the same storytelling technique, weaving together the stories of individuals across the same timeline and adding lots of information about fires in general, the railroads, and logging. I sometimes lost track of what was happening to different people (it’s Minnesota so lots of Scandinavian names), and will probably read this again in a more leisurely way. I absolutely devoured it on this first read! Highly recommended for anyone who loves a good disaster. (Fans of Betsy-Tacy will appreciate the frequent mentions of James J Hill.)
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Oh good. This is on my to-read shelf, and so is his The Indifferent Stars Above, a book about the Donner Party, which interests me even more, and I see that one is on your shelves too.


Ginny Messina Oh, interesting! I've been very eager to read The Indifferent Stars Above, but didn't realize this is the same author. Now I'm even more eager to get my hands on a copy! My library doesn't have it and it looks like it is available only in hardcover right now.


message 3: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Yes, two interesting looking books from the same author, now someone I want to keep my eye out for future work, especially since you enjoyed this one.

Do you have inter-library loan? And do none of the participating libraries have it?


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