Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews's Reviews > The Stars Are Fire

The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve
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I started off giving The Stars are Fire 4 stars, however while writing my review I realized that there was a few things that were missing for me or did not really work for me.

When we first meet Grace Holland she is in a dutiful and loveless marriage to sour Gene who is a man of few words. The setting is based on the real life fires from October 1947 that raged in Maine following months of severe drought. I thought Anita Shreve gave me a good feel of the daily life in 1947 and the impact the fires had on Grace’s life. The fires left quiet and meek Grace Holland alone with her children and homeless. She becomes brave, resilient, and resourceful as she rewrites her life for herself and her family. I found myself rooting for Grace as she discovers new freedom and finds joy in her life.

All the other characters all seemed like an uninteresting “type” to me with no depth or development. I wanted to learn, understand and have some more insight to why Gene was so sour and angry with little words to share. Even though Gene was a menacing character, I found I had no emotions towards him whether it be dislike, sympathy or anger. I wanted more from his character.

I enjoyed Shreve’s writing and Grace’s story as she goes through the devastation and finds the courage to create a new life. It was not an absorbing read for me but a comfort read with a satisfying ending.

All of Norma’s & my reviews can be found on our Sister Blog:
http://www.twogirlslostinacouleereadi...
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Reading Progress

April 22, 2017 – Started Reading
April 22, 2017 – Shelved
April 24, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 58 (58 new)


Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Excellent review Brenda! A comfort read with a satisfying ending is nice sometimes! I've enjoyed Anita Shreve novels in the past - I hope to give this one a try at some point. Hoping your next book is a fantastic 5 star!!!! xo


message 2: by Norma (new)

Norma Wonderful review Brenda! I love that you described why this one didn't get all the stars for you! Awesome! :-)


message 3: by Jen (new) - added it

Jen A thoughtful review, Brenda. Thanks.


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Lindsay wrote: "Excellent review Brenda! A comfort read with a satisfying ending is nice sometimes! I've enjoyed Anita Shreve novels in the past - I hope to give this one a try at some point. Hoping your next book..."

Thank you, Lindsay! I agree. This was the first book I have read from Anita Shreve. I think I probably will try another one.


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Norma wrote: "Wonderful review Brenda! I love that you described why this one didn't get all the stars for you! Awesome! :-)"

Thank you, Norma!


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Jen wrote: "A thoughtful review, Brenda. Thanks."

Thank you, Jen!


message 7: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Bummer you didn't enjoy this one more, Brenda. It's hard to fully connect with a story when the characters come across as flat or uninteresting. Great review though. :)


message 8: by Cheri (new)

Cheri Great review, Brenda, I especially appreciate all of your reasons why this didn't work - but am sorry it didn't really work for you!


Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader Great review, Brenda! Some of Anita Shreve's books, I've adored, and others unfortunately fell flat, so I'm hoping I'll enjoy this one. I agree that a comfort read sounds good. :)


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Melissa wrote: "Bummer you didn't enjoy this one more, Brenda. It's hard to fully connect with a story when the characters come across as flat or uninteresting. Great review though. :)"

Thank you Melissa! Yes, They all but Grace just seemed like a type of character. I like a little more from characters. It was even hard for me to dislike Gene because of that.


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Cheri wrote: "Great review, Brenda, I especially appreciate all of your reasons why this didn't work - but am sorry it didn't really work for you!"

Thank you so much Cheri!



Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader wrote: "Great review, Brenda! Some of Anita Shreve's books, I've adored, and others unfortunately fell flat, so I'm hoping I'll enjoy this one. I agree that a comfort read sounds good. :)"

Thank you, Jennifer! I hope you enjoy this one. I am interested in your thoughts and will be looking out for your review.


message 13: by Kendall (new)

Kendall Sorry this one was so so for you Brenda. Wonderful honest review! ;)


Kris - My Novelesque Life Aww, I like Shreve :( I will probably still read it as I am fan of hers...thanks for the heads up! Great review!


message 15: by Marilyn (new)

Marilyn C. I just picked this one up from the library and hoping it will be higher then a three star for me - if I end up reading it. Thanks for the great review!


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Kendall wrote: "Sorry this one was so so for you Brenda. Wonderful honest review! ;)"

Thank you, Kendall!


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Kris - My Novelesque Life wrote: "Aww, I like Shreve :( I will probably still read it as I am fan of hers...thanks for the heads up! Great review!"

Thank you, Kris! Overall I enjoyed the story. I just wanted more from some of the characters. I really hope you enjoy this one.


message 18: by Kaceey (new)

Kaceey Great review Brenda:) Sorry it didn't work for you! Wishing you a 5* for your next read!


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Marilyn wrote: "I just picked this one up from the library and hoping it will be higher then a three star for me - if I end up reading it. Thanks for the great review!"

Thank you, Marilyn! I can see it being higher then 3 stars for you. I just wanted more from some of the characters. I really did enjoy Grace's character and story. If you do decide to read it I look forward to your thought.


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Kaceey wrote: "Great review Brenda:) Sorry it didn't work for you! Wishing you a 5* for your next read!"

Thank you, Kaceey! I am looking forward to a 5 star one! I think it's time.


message 21: by KAS (new)

KAS Excellent review, Brenda! Sorry you were left with wanting more out of the characters :( xox


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews KAS wrote: "Excellent review, Brenda! Sorry you were left with wanting more out of the characters :( xox"

Thank you, Kas!


message 23: by Frances (new)

Frances Nice review Brenda! :D


message 24: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Great honest review, Brenda!


message 25: by JanB (new)

JanB Nice review Brenda! The 3 star ones are the toughest to write and you made a good case for why it was a 3 star one for you. Comfort reads are ok once in a while :)


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Frances wrote: "Nice review Brenda! :D"

Thank you, Frances!


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Deanna wrote: "Great honest review, Brenda!"

Thank you, Deanna!


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews JanB wrote: "Nice review Brenda! The 3 star ones are the toughest to write and you made a good case for why it was a 3 star one for you. Comfort reads are ok once in a while :)"

Thank you, Jan! It's nice to hear that. I think this is my first review for a 3 stars and it was tough. I think so too, comfort reads are ok and are needed sometimes.


message 29: by Margitte (new)

Margitte Great review, Brenda. I enjoyed some of the author's other books. I think I will read The Pilot's Wife now, after reading your book, since it has been forever on my TBR. You inspired me! :-)


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Margitte wrote: "Great review, Brenda. I enjoyed some of the author's other books. I think I will read The Pilot's Wife now, after reading your book, since it has been forever on my TBR. You inspired me! :-)"

Thank you, Margarite! I hope you enjoy that one. I will be looking out for your review. I haven't read that one but I often thought about it.


message 31: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Terrific review Brenda.


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Maureen wrote: "Terrific review Brenda."

Thank you, Maureen!


message 33: by Linda (new) - added it

Linda Darn it all, huh, Brenda! It was a well-written review that I appreciated. I was trying to decide if to buy this or not. I think "not." Thanks for saving me money, with your honesty! xo


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Linda wrote: "Darn it all, huh, Brenda! It was a well-written review that I appreciated. I was trying to decide if to buy this or not. I think "not." Thanks for saving me money, with your honesty! xo"

Thank you, Linda! You have made me feel good by saving you some money. You are so wonderful!


Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister Very well-said! You always explain yourself so well :-)


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Kristin (KC) wrote: "Very well-said! You always explain yourself so well :-)"

Thank you so much Kristin! That is so nice to hear. Makes me feel good to hear.


Julie Nice review, Brenda! Hope your the next book is better!


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Thank you, Julie! It was much better!


Terri Anderson These were my sentiments exactly. I wanted more explanation of Gene's personality and actions. It was a fast read at least.


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Terri wrote: "These were my sentiments exactly. I wanted more explanation of Gene's personality and actions. It was a fast read at least."

Glad to hear that you did too Terri!


message 41: by Ms_G (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ms_G I'm getting the same sense from this book as yours Brenda. It seems to focus more on her plight, and maybe that is the sole intention, and I'm struggling to get really into it. I don't recall ever reading Shreve before this book. So as my intro to her as an author, I'm not feeling the urge to read her other books. 😕


message 42: by Pam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pam I can't agree here. While I would have preferred a little more character development of Gene earlier, it is explained in the end why he is who he is. Plus, for me, the book was about the women.


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Gina wrote: "I'm getting the same sense from this book as yours Brenda. It seems to focus more on her plight, and maybe that is the sole intention, and I'm struggling to get really into it. I don't recall ever ..."

Hi Gina! This was my first book by Shreve too. I think your right on the focus on her plight. We really do see a lot of growth in her character and I did enjoy her character. I hope it gets better for you!


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Pam wrote: "I can't agree here. While I would have preferred a little more character development of Gene earlier, it is explained in the end why he is who he is. Plus, for me, the book was about the women."

Hi Pam! It wasn't enough for me. I still wanted more from his character and the other characters.


message 45: by Linda (new) - added it

Linda Great, honest review, dear Brenda, even though I've already purchased the book, and it's waiting for me to read it! :-( I've read quite a few of Shreve's books and usually enjoyed them, so, hopefully, you won't give up on the author. Knowing now what you didn't know then, you've read some great books since!! ;-)


Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Linda wrote: "Great, honest review, dear Brenda, even though I've already purchased the book, and it's waiting for me to read it! :-( I've read quite a few of Shreve's books and usually enjoyed them, so, hopeful..."

Thank you, Linda! I really think you will like this one. It definitely has some great parts to it and Grace is a strong character. But you know me. I love character development and it's a big part of the story for me and I always like to know more about what drives people to do what they do. I will probably read more of her books in the future. As always I will be looking out of or your thoughts on this one.


Laurel Fallon I was completely confused about the mother-in-law's home. First I thought the husband was angry because the wife rarely visited his mother. But then wondered why he took her there and she acted like she had never seen it... Shirley she wouldn't visited the house at least before marriage. I also could not understand after the fire and she was completely homeless it took her so long to think about going back to that home. Her husband was missing, the mother-in-law is deceased it seemed like a no-brainer to me that she would move there asap. That was all very confusing.
I did like the use of the weather as an additional character in the book. An angry one at that. Very clever.


Elizabeth S When she brought Gene back into the story, I quit reading- felt totally betrayed by Shreve, and I had loved all of her previous books. Never again.


message 49: by Erin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin Donaldson I feel like we didn't find out much about Gene because Grace didn't know why he was so mean. At the end, it hints towards why he and his mom always had issues with her. So maybe that explained the way her treated her the whole time.


message 50: by Erin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin Donaldson Laurel wrote: "I was completely confused about the mother-in-law's home. First I thought the husband was angry because the wife rarely visited his mother. But then wondered why he took her there and she acted lik..."

It wasn't "her" house though, her husband's. Gene had set her up and probably the time period too, to think that she wasn't entitled to property. What was hers was his, but what was his was not hers. 1950s women's issues!


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