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A Fire Sparkling

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  6,693 ratings  ·  613 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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4.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,693 ratings  ·  613 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
Debra Slonek
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads, netgalley
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Kristen Suire
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

"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
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
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
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved the story for the most part.

Reading what Vivian, April, Ludwig, and others went through during the war was what kept my attention. The storyline with Gillian I could have done without. Her relationship, and the issues stemming from that, could have been left out.

But "listening" to the secret that Grandma had was absolutely intriguing.
Anita Housley
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Sparkling Experience

The title of this novel gave me pause before I selected it because it sounded like it might be a lightweight love story. I am grateful that I decided to read a " little " because this is one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read. My husband and son were and are exceedingly interested in anything written about WWII, so I thought I'd give it a look. I very much enjoyed the author's writing style, but there are several overlays of both time and settings, so a careful re
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura Krooswyk
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! I had a hard time putting it down!
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.
This was my July Amazon first read for free.
It was a good read but for me it was predictable early on.
The fact that it kept me reading, to see if I was right, is the reason I gave it 3.5. And because, for me it was predictable is why I did not give it more stars.
And I disagree with the description. I would not put it up there with The Nightengale or Beneath a Scarlet Sky.
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.
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
Rebecca Hill
There are casualties of war that no one can see coming, and some of them are going to shock a family more than anyone could ever know...

When pictures are discovered in her grandmother's attic, Gillian is not sure what to think. She thinks of the grandmother she knew, and cannot imagine what she would be doing with a Nazi officer. But as the story starts to unfold, the past comes to light, and the horrible secret that her grandmother has been hiding for many years is finally about to be shared.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's a best seller and it's worth reading! A Fire Sparkling is about a family uncovering deep secrets pertaining to World War II. April has kept her secret love hidden well until her granddaughter Gillian discovers her grandmother played a major role in the resistance against the Nazis. It's rare today to find a epic tale of a episode in history that also has a tie-in with the current time. James Michener was one of my favorites. Juilianne MacLean obviously did allot of research on The Blitz of ...more
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The most amazing historical fiction book since The Nightingale! To say that I absolutely loved it is an understatement! Gillian’s story begins with her own personal experiences of loss and love, which leads her home to her father and grandmother for refuge. What she finds there takes us back to her grandmother Vivian’s past during WW2. Vivian has kept her secrets from her family and close to her heart for many reasons. Once she tells her family the truth of her past it leads Gillian to travel ba ...more
Barbara Turkdal
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book moved right along with the storylines. I was one step ahead of the plot's twists and turns up until the ending. I never would have guessed it!

Having read many stories from the British WW II era, I was pleased with the points of fact and that the war, though the main focus in the book, still did not overshadow the characters' purpose.

I am very glad I chose this book as a Prime Read book for July 2019.

I reccomend reading " A Fire Sparkling".
Jul 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
I couldn't make it past the second chapter. The dialogue was to structured, too forced.
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
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My favorite historical fiction I've read to date! Such a wonderful story that takes you from the present to the past (WW2 era) and back again. You'll easily fall in love with the characters in this book! The story took me for a roller coaster ride- starting out on a high note and ending on an even higher one. The story includes love, betrayal, mystery, family, and everything in-between- don't sleep on this book! This one is definitely worth the read even if you're moderately into historical fict ...more
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have been immersing myself in WWII novels as background for a story I am writing. "A Fire Sparkling" is one of the best of the bunch. I read it in one sitting, or rather in bed, and it gave me a little sleep deprivation. The characters are so sympathetic and the plot is so riveting that the reader is just pulled along. I wanted to reach the end to solve the mystery but I was sad that the book was finished. I will be reading this author in the future.
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Free kindle with prime during July 2019 1 7 Jul 01, 2019 03:02PM  
Julianne MacLean is a USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the contemporary women’s fiction Color of Heaven series. MacLean is a four-time Romance Writers of America RITA finalist and has won the Booksellers’ Best Award, the Book Buyers Best Award, and a Reviewers’ Choice Award from the Romantic Times for Best Regency Historical Romance of 2005.

MacLean has a degree in
“Love is a smoke rais’d with the fume of sighs; being purg’d, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes . . .
—William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet”
“We could all drive ourselves mad thinking about what could have been. 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.” 0 likes
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