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Fire & Water: A Suspense-Filled Story of Art, Love, Passion, and Madness

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4.10  ·  Rating details ·  310 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Aspiring surgeon Kate Murphy has always played it safe. When she meets artist Jake Bloom, however, she ignores her best friend Mary K's warnings and falls head over heels for him. She ultimately realizes that Mary K was right-but by then she's in too deep to walk away. ...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published February 14th 2013 by She Writes Press
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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  310 ratings  ·  55 reviews


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Mary Gottschalk
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have not stopped thinking about Kat and Jake since I finished this book several weeks ago.

It started off slowly for me, as I associate the somewhat overwrought style of writing with romance novels or soap operas. But what kept me turning the pages was Fasbinder’s unerring instinct for intriguing and well-drawn characters who are flawed in interesting and sympathetic ways. Jake, often gentle and endearing, is a world-class artist with a rather conventional mental illness. Kat, a talented but na
...more
Marsha Cornelius
Don't get me wrong. This isn't some fluffy, starry-eyed romance with a syrupy happy ever after. But it's one of the best books I've read this year. In a way, it reminded me of The Time-Traveler's Wife. Even though two people love each other, sometimes that just isn't enough. ...more
Kim
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had the honor of reading an ARC of this one and providing a blurb for the back cover:

A heart-wrenching journey set against a richly drawn San Francisco Bay Area, Fire & Water deftly explores trust, wealth, family and the way love changes the shape of our hearts. What a beautiful exploration of love and mental illness and family. That I lived in the Bay Area for ten years only enriched my experience of this story. A triumph.
Joood Hooligan
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
***AUDIOBOOK REVIEW***

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The book itself was done well with its cast of characters, but the audiobook brought it to life by giving all of the characters their different voices and accents. The voice actress, Monica McKey, did an awesome job keeping the characters separate. She definitely made this audiobook.

I was listening to this on my commute to work each morning. My husband usually calls me during his break and we talk about what's
...more
Suzi Baum
I discovered Betsy on She Writes and was attracted to her generous spirit as an author and community member. Then I ordered Fire & Water and was further impressed.
What a haunting and visually affecting read!
Rarely have I read a book that took my senses on such a ride! Literally! The world Betsy creates includes details that will stay in my imagination.
The story Betsy captures, or stories I should say, because her main character interacts with others over time which allows the reader to know more
...more
Yvonne Kohano
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book I couldn't put down - a compelling read that mixes romance, extended family, and both the light and the dark of mental illness. Kate's love for Jake, his commitment to his art and to her, and the interwoven stories of the secondary characters, coupled with the San Francisco location which plays its own role, give this story a richness and depth that aren't always easy to find. Fasbinder has done a tremendous job in crafting a tale that made me laugh and cry, unable to turn away. I ...more
Cory Hansen
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started this book not knowing what to expect. Like other reviewers I couldn't put it down! The title says it all...ART, LOVE, PASSION & MADNESS. A well written story. My heart went out to each of the characters. Mental illness can be such a debilitating disease, and the people that love them suffer just as much if not more. I laughed, I cried & sobbed,(my eyes were swollen shut this morning). I fell in love with all. I am GREATLY surprised how this book affected me. Very good. Fire & Water: A ...more
Lynn
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book surprised me. I really did not know what to expect. I hadn't even read the "back cover." So I got sucked into the love story and the total mystery of where the story was going. The title is perfect. Each word is intregal to the story. That's all that should be said without giving away the story. ...more
Sarah
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and its take on mental illness. I've never dealt with bipolar disorder personally, but the way it is presented here brings a small bit of understanding. The writing flowed well, and the imagery was beautiful and frightening. ...more
Judith Newton
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Powerful, moving and beautifully written.
Mandy meyer
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
I couldn't put this down! What was coming next?

The beginning was a little slow for me, but once I got involved with the characters and their story, I could not put this down!
...more
Billy Buttons
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was recently entered in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what our readers thought:

FEEDBACK

Author: Fire & Water

Title: Betsy Graziani Fasbinder

COVER: 10/10
The readers thought the cover was excellent and the comments on the back well-written, enticing them to read the book. A number of them felt it was by far the best cover in the awards this year with a strong, central image and fun, easy-to-read fonts. One reader put in his feedback: ‘I must say, the cover is excellent. I am a gra
...more
Kimberly
High Ratings NOT an exaggeration!

The many reviewers that have rated this book 4- and 5-stars are not exaggerating their ratings. I am skeptical when a book or audio book receives an incredibly disproportionate number of high ratings, but this book earned them! I volunteered to listen to this audio book for review through Audiobook Jukebox with the agreement of providing a honest review. I will keep this review spoiler-free. If you are interested in a book summary, please refer to the book blurb
...more
Marcia Scurfield
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
So happy to be adding this book to my current reads--when it arrives! Thanks First Reads for choosing this book for me.

Fire & Water arrived today along with a very gracious note from author, Betsy Graziani Fasbinder

Love and Art are right up my alley, I love San Francisco and this looks like the perfect summer read for me.

Wow, I was only about halfway through Fire & Water and stayed up last night and finished it!

I found ending to the book so disheartening that Jake had everything going for him,
...more
Victor Muthoka
In rare times, I read a book that gets me stopping halfway in tears & leaving me speechless when trying to write the review. This is one such book.

Jake Bloom, the eccentric artist who is the centre piece, is a marvel. He is a master genius in art & seems to know everything about everything. Kate Murphy is Bloom's wife & is an excellent surgeon herself. Their whirlwind romance when they first meet leads them to soon conceive & get married. In the midst of the perfect life (a but too perfect at ti
...more
Amazin2843
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At first I felt this was a take-off on a theme of Shades of Gray, a woman quickly obsessed with a man. Not so. Katherine quickly falls for exciting and phenomenal artist, Jake. He is her knight in shining armor until several years after their marriage, he goes berserk when he doesn't get his artistic way. She then learns from Jake's manager and best friend, that Jake is bi-polar, manic depressive. His depressive moments threaten the lives of her and her child.
Finally, she can take no more and h
...more
Meghan
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This beautiful story gave me an entirely new perspective on mental illness.

It took a couple of chapters to really feel invested, but once I did, I couldn't put the book down. I fell in love with every character.

You can't help but sympathize with Kate but at the same time want strangle her for her choices.

Growing up in the San Francisco bay area makes me appreciate how the city and surrounding areas are described. I will forever see the Golden Gate Bridge in an new light.

I would recommend this bo
...more
Buck
Dec 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I'm not a romance reader, or at least I didn't think I was. The story isn't an idealised relationship; instead, it's a depiction of the struggles that face people. Wow this is so hard to describe in a way that's appropriate! I found the story very engaging, and like so many good books I found myself thinking about the characters long after I'd finished reading. To be honest, I'm not sure I like the ending, but that may be because it isn't the ending I'd hoped for. And I did have hopes for the ch ...more
Beth ~~Just One More Chapter I Swear~~
This book was a rough one! It wasn't tough to read through but tough to get through emotionally intact. The writing was beautiful and haunting and lasting. It is an amazing account of Love, mental illness and how these characters navigated the waters in between. I loved each and every person in the book even though (and because) they were all flawed in the most beautifully human ways. I cried like a weepy old fart for nearly the entire book and even though it was gut wrenching to live it alongsi ...more
Kay Chomic
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding novel. It has it all, and the author, wrote a book, IMO, on par with The Goldfinch. At times, the story is serious, whimsical, suspenseful, funny, and brimming with heart in each chapter. Great writing. Wonderfully fresh to read about two smart women interns/surgeons (one, a lesbian) behaving not so emotionally intelligent. Fasbinder portrays complex friendships, lends insight to the pros and cons of keeping family secrets, and shows in brilliant detail an artist struggling with his ...more
Jennifer
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This woman can spin a yarn. It was so great to read a book with a real story! My habit is to read each night before I go to sleep, and over the last week I literally could not wait to open my Kindle and find out what happened to Kate. The mental health portrayal rang true - something I unfortunately feel qualified to assess since I have a close loved one who suffers from depression. But more than that, it was the storytelling. It is such a great summer read, and I say that not at all using the t ...more
Beth ~~Just One More Chapter I Swear~~
This book was a rough one! It wasn't tough to read through but tough to get through emotionally intact. The writing was beautiful and haunting and lasting. It is an amazing account of Love, mental illness and how these characters navigated the waters in between. I loved each and every person in the book even though (and because) they were all flawed in the most beautifully human ways. I cried like a weepy old fart for nearly the entire book and even though it was gut wrenching to live it alongsi ...more
Kelly
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thought this story has some inappropriate language and a bit of explicit sex, I loved the story. It was a story of an incredibly, talented, artistic man and the woman he falls in love with. Their love is so strong and touching. The characters in this book are rich. I fell in love with them and I grieved for three days after reading this book before I could pick up another book to read. This story gripped my heart and challenged my mind. I highly recommend this book to mature adults.
Laura May
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really great book. Very firmly in the chic-lit genre, but not fluffy like the other rubbish out there. It deals with the relationship between the protagonist and a genius artist with bi-polar. I particularly enjoyed it for the realism of his condition. The book was a bit of an emotional roller-coaster to be honest, and at times it was a struggle to get through! Very well written and worth a read. But maybe for a rainy day holiday, it's a little too intense for the beach! ...more
Alonna Shaw
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers interested in family drama, art, San Francisco, and romance.
Recommended to Alonna by: SheWrites
Fire & Water had a slow build at first allowing me to settle into the location and characters. I enjoyed how the author tested (and proved) the definition of "family" according to each character's needs & what love meant to them. A stimulating, yet heartbreaking journey I recommend other readers to experience! ...more
Elaine
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An engrossing story of a young woman who falls in love with (and marries) a creative genius who turns out to be manic-depressive. A beautifully crafted first novel by this author. I will be looking for more books by her.
Hillary Malsch
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprise thriller: the summary did not sound like something that would draw me in. However, the characters were so well developed that I couldn't put it down. Would have loved to see the Art exhibits, other than the last 2....very impressive ideas. ...more
Catharine Bramkamp
Fire and Water is a riveting read and Betsy, besides writing a wonderful book also gives her time to aspiring writers helping them speak and present better.

Hear what Betsy has to say about her work with author on Newbie Writers Podcast 11/7/14 ITunes (I forgot the episode number, sorry!)
Nicole Waggoner
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Betsy Fasbinder has perfectly captured pub culture. I highly recommend this read to fans of Joyce Carol Oats' We Were the Mulvaneys. It is ripping, funny, and often raw. Were it a stage play or film, I would want front row seats! ...more
Renee
Jul 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent but heartwrenching read
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Betsy Graziani Fasbinder's newest book, Filling Her Shoes: A Memoir of an Inherited Family will launch May 2017. When she was about to become a mother for the first time, Betsy found that none of the stories about motherhood, even step-mothering seemed to describe her circumstances. They talked about pregnancy and baby names, or they spoke of getting along with "the ex". But she wasn't pregnant, a ...more

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