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A Fire Sparkling

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  20,920 ratings  ·  1,708 reviews
From the USA Today bestselling author of A Curve in the Road comes a spellbinding novel about one woman’s love, loss, and courage during wartime.

After a crushing betrayal by the man she loves, Gillian Gibbons flees to her family home for a much-needed escape, but when she finds an old photograph of her grandmother in the arms of a Nazi officer, Gillian’s life gets even mor
Kindle Edition, First edition, 432 pages
Published August 1st 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
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Average rating 4.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  20,920 ratings  ·  1,708 reviews

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Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like historical fiction, mystery, suspense and family drama, you will want to read "A Fire Sparkling"!
This novel put me in the throes of World War II with Vivian, a young woman with many secrets.
I could not stop reading until her skeletons were out of the closet. It kept me in suspense all the way until the very end of this book.
Told in the present and then back to 1939, this is one amazing journey.
It is like nothing I have read.
The transition from timelines is so smooth, and the sto
Elyse  Walters
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Audiobook... narrated by Rosalyn Landor, and Sarah Zimmerman:
....the best $1.99 Audible blind faith choice.
This was my first Julianne MacLean novel.... a Canadian author...
I liked it all.....the story... the writing... the voice narrator.

In the past...
Vivian Hughes was a young woman during London during the Blitz.
She was married to a British official when German bombs started dropping.

Present day....
Gillian Gibbons, Vivian’s granddaughter, discovered heartbreaking news by the ma
Debra Slonek
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, 2019-reads
An excellent novel filled with romance, heartache, betrayal, loyalty, danger, secrets, suspense, adventures and a cast of unforgettable characters. As you begin reading this book, prepare to be swept away...

The scenes are so vividly painted. I felt as though I was walking the streets of London right along with the characters who were deeply developed and very well connected. Easily, I became immersed into their lives. I rejoiced at their good news and felt their sadness at other times. As secret
Karren  Sandercock
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-reads
I really enjoyed: A Fire Sparkling by Julianne MacLean and it's a book full of interesting surprises.
It's a story with a dual timeline that seamlessly blends the past and with the present.
In 2011, Gillian catches her boyfriend cheating, she's very upset, and she's goes to visit her dad. She had no idea that he's just found a mysterious box filled with old photographs of his mother Vivian and she's standing next to a man who's dressed as a Nazi officer?
Edward is very confused, he had been told h
Aug 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Overall: A dual time period, character-driven story set with the backdrop of WWII. A story of conflict, family, love, betrayal, acceptance, and love. The book had potential to be more but is still enjoyable. I would recommend to fans of historical fiction especially WWII but note that this is much easier reading than many similar books within this genre. 6.5/10 or 3.5/5

Summary: This book has three main character and is told from third person (Vivian), and dual first person (Gillian and April) us
Mary Ann
Aug 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Update 23/08/2019: After reading some other one and two star reviews, I skimmed through the rest of the book. A few readers said the second half was an improvement on the first, especially with regard to Gillian's story line. I don't agree, and I stand by everything I wrote below.

This may be one of the worst reading experiences I've had in a long time. It was either a Kindle First Read or bonus of some kind; fortunately I paid nothing for it. I had hopes for it since WW II, anti-Nazi r
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Fire Sparkling will leave you is that good! I am not going to rehash the synopsis because I don’t want to inadvertently give any spoilers. Julianne MacLean has written a story that spans WWII years with lessons that carry into the present for the families of those who lived, those who died and those who loved. She paints a poignant picture of life as Britain is drawn into war with Germany. She writes about the bond between sisters and the bond between friends. She writes about ...more
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This multi-generational, dual timeline story is a unique twist on WWII historical fiction. The plot was fantastic, the character development authentic and timely, and the plot twists unexpected and well planned. This book is on the larger side but I blew through it in two days, completely caught up in this beautiful story. This was spectacularly written, the author clearly put a lot of time and energy into her research. I absolutely loved this novel and give it the full 5⭐️’s! Thank you @amazonp ...more
Stephanie Anze
"Sometimes you think you know someone, but maybe it's imposible to really know everything about a person, even someone you love. Maybe good people - the very best people - are just better at keeping secrets."

Gillian Gibbons returns to her childhood home after discovering something quite troubling about her boyfriend. Seeking a respite, she is shocked when her father delivers some troubling news of his own. He reveals to Gillian that he found photos of his mother (Gill's grandmother) with a Nazi
Katie (katieladyreads)
DNF made it until 250 pages in but couldn’t take the characters anymore and the old fashioned language was insufferable
Lynda Kelly
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
This is the third book I've read by this author and also the third one I've given 5* to. I'm at a loss, really, as to why she's not mentioned as much nor afforded the publicity other authors seem to get, as she always does a superb job, both with her storytelling AND presentation.
I picked this particular one from a Kindle First selection this month. I knew I'd be onto a good thing as she has never let me down before. I always greatly enjoy dual timeline stories, too. This tale centres around the
"Love is smoke rais'd with the fume of sighs; being purg'd, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes..."
- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

A FIRE SPARKLING by Julianne MacLean is an emotionally charged novel about one woman's love, loss, and courage during wartime. The cover is gorgeous and the story is a masterpiece! I felt as though I was rushing to a bomb shelter in London, England during the Blitz of World War II.

This multigenerational saga was a page-turner. It grabbed me from the start and di
Kerrin Parris
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
A Fire Sparkling by Julianne Maclean is the second World War II and modern-day dual timeline story I have read recently. In both this novel and The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer, an American granddaughter travels back to Europe in search of her grandmother’s past during World War II. Both grandmothers had dark secrets that were not revealed until the modern-day time. Both books discuss the effects of those secrets on subsequent generations. Both books involve children who did not know who ...more
Louetta Waters
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher and author for A free ARC of this book in exchange for a honest review.

A Fire Sparkling by Julianne MacLean is not what I expected and yet so so much more than I expected!! Twists and turns that dropped my jaw! I couldn't put the darn book down it was so good!
Gillian's story begins with her long time boyfriend breaking her heart, which leads her to head home to her father and grandmother to lick her wounds. A shocking find by her father adds to her confu
Nicole Patterson
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book right here is why my favorite genre to read is historical romance. Especially ww2 era. This was beautifully written. Such a beautiful story. It had me on the edge of my seat. Tears in my eyes. I had the biggest smile on my face at the ending. Well done.
Lu Bielefeld
5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Amazing!

The story of the book alternates between the present and the past. At present we have our heroine, who returns home after being cheated by her two-year-old boyfriend.
In the past we have the story of her grandmother and facts that occurred during World War II and that were unknown to the family.
The story is very well crafted and captures the reader's attention from start to finish.
Prepare the tissue paper to wipe away the tears that will surely occur during
Karen McQuestion
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Fire Sparkling is a beautifully-written, moving novel that seamlessly interweaves the story of a family over three generations. The core of the story belongs to Vivian Hughes and her experiences as a young woman during WWII in Great Britain. MacLean gives just enough detail to provide an authentic sense of time and place. Reading this book was a completely immersive, emotional experience for me, with twists and turns that left me reeling. In my opinion, this novel is a literary masterpiece, on ...more
Jill Miclean
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book covered every event in WWII. You name it, it was mentioned. Like the author had a check list she was using to make sure she hit all the popular stories. The blitz: check. Secret agents: check. Spies: check. The resistance: check. D-day: check. Singing to the troops: check. Jumping out of planes: check. Concentration camp: check. Jewish soldier in German army: check. Nazi soldier with the heart of gold: check. Assumed identity: check. Downed planes: check. Hiding in the forest check. It ...more
Christine Nolfi
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brimming with twists, secrets, and romance, A Fire Sparkling carries the reader back to WWII Europe as modern-day woman Gillian Gibbons unravels the past kept hidden by her grandmother for decades. This is author Julianne MacLean’s most ambitious work to date, a heartfelt and remarkable tale of courage, secret identity, and the deep, unbreakable bonds of family. Highly, enthusiastically recommended.
Aug 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019-gave-up-on, dnf
Quit after 5 chapters. I just could not take those cheesy and stilted dialogues anymore. Although the "heroine" was beaten and almost choked to death by her father the author failed to evoke in me even the slightest hint of compassion. No need to go on, it can't get better.
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gillian Gibbons returns home to her grandmother’s home after a devastating betrayal by the man she loves. When she wants to mend her broken heart, her father discovers a secret about the family that stuns both father and daughter and Gillian is compelled to find the answers to the grandmother she thought she knew and who her grandmother really was.

The book takes us from The Blitz of London to the France and Germany and one woman’s journey to find the pieces of her families that will heal her fa
Camille Maio
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Author Julianne MacLean is a fresh voice in WWII fiction, writing a book full of twists and turns all the way until the end. A story of sisters, loyalty, motherhood, love, and wartime drama, this one will become a beloved fixture in the genre.
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This new novel is a blend between history and romance, between present day and WWII. it's a book about family and love and forgiveness all put together with lots of research and likable characters. It's well written and one of my favorite books of the year.

The story - especially during the war is so well written that you feel like you are in London during the Blitz. The author did an excellent job of showing what life was like in London during this time. The characters were very likable and thei
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
I chose this in one of those Amazon monthly choices for prime members eve though I have claimed I would not try to read any of those books again. I lied. World War II...and family secrets.
It is a very emotional and sentimental telling of events during the war and how a family hid the truth until a younger granddaughter went looking.
Kristen Peyton
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"He considered it for a moment, then gave me a look. “They have a name for you on the base. They call you the Unattainable. ‘There goes the Unattainable,’ they say, whenever you’re spotted cycling into town.” Perplexed, I frowned at him. “What do they mean by that?” “Just that you’re the most beautiful woman in Surrey, but you live in that big castle on the hill, and you keep to yourself.” I shook my head at him. “You Americans. I suppose you expect all the women in England to flirt with you, da ...more
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Fire Sparkling by Julianne MacLean is a marvelous dual timeline story of love and courage in times of war. It is a novel that will both thrill and horrify as the reader journeys through lives that loved and lost and that lost and found. It is a book that made me cry as the love reached out beyond the pages and into my heart.
The greatest love of all is a sacrificial love. Within the story there are many instances of sacrificial love but one will pale all others into oblivion.
The action alternat
Dr. Kathy
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
Have I now read too many Historical Fiction books written in the time frame of WWII? It remains my favorite period in history and will,of course, remain my favorite time for selecting memoirs and historical fiction. But I felt like there was nothing new here based on fact. My mom and dad came of age quickly during this war, and I remain mesmerized by tales of how this war was won. My dad was in the D-Day parade! I tell you this so that you will realize how hard it was for me to give this low rat ...more
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alayne Emmett
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really wish I could give this wonderful book 10 stars, it was such a good book. Set in present day and then goes back to 1939 and during the Second World War it was my kind of book.
I loved the descriptions of the blitz which brought everything to life even though I’d heard a lot of stories from my mum.
It had me gasping with shock and then crying with sadness.
I do hope she writes more in the future. My thanks to Amazon Prime First Reads for this beautiful book.
Kristie Hayes
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Unique Historical.Fiction Story

I have come to love historical fiction in the setting of World War two, and this book was wonderful. The plot was original and it kept my internet because I could not predict.what would happen next. With each character's background, you find that people of different generations have similar problems - establishing their identity, hiding who they are, finding love, betrayal, forgiveness or holding a grudge, and ultimately wanting the truth - and this can happen un
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ulianne MacLean is a USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the contemporary women’s fiction Color of Heaven Series. Readers have described her books as “breathtaking,” “soulful” and “uplifting.” MacLean is a four-time Romance Writers of America RITA finalist and has won numerous awards, including the Booksellers’ Best Award and a Reviewers’ Choice Award from Romantic T ...more

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34 likes · 16 comments
“But life happens the way it happens, and there’s no point wishing the past was any different. It will always be what it was, and there’s not a damn thing we can do about it.” 3 likes
“Sometimes you think you know someone, but maybe it’s impossible to really know everything about a person, even someone you love. Maybe good people—the very best people—are just better at keeping secrets.” 2 likes
More quotes…