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The Stars Are Fire
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May 2018: Family Drama > The Stars are Fire - Shreve - 4 stars

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Jgrace | 3112 comments The Stars Are Fire - Shreve
4 stars
Audio performance by Suzanne Freeman

Much of the beginning of this book seemed very slow. I wasn’t at all connected to the characters. Until the fire.

Before the fire, I could see that Grace Holland was trapped in a boring, if not outright abusive marriage. I got the conservative, 20th century, ‘a woman’s place is in the home’ message. I just did not care much about Grace’s struggle to dry the laundry in wet weather. Laundry isn’t interesting. She wasn’t interesting.

The fire was interesting. It was terrifying. I’ve been evacuated from my home during wildfires. I’ve been prepared to go if necessary many times. It’s always scary. I have television, radio, a cell phone and a car. Residents of Maine in 1947 had few of those things. Grace Holland had none of them. Her husband was gone. She wasn’t expected or trained to take care of herself. Men make all the big decisions. Women wash the clothes.

It’s a feminist coming of age story. This character was born a generation before me and the wave of mid-century feminism that benefited me. I was impatient for her to assert herself, but she got there in the end. I’m not sure I would have done as well. I was proud of her.

I cannot recommend the audio performance. The monotone reading made even moments of triumph and passion sound depressing. I would have switched to a text copy if I’d had one available.


Ellen | 2330 comments I liked this one, too.


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments I gave this one four stars but remember it left me with a bit of an ugh feeling. I listened to it as well and maybe that is what got to me but it was subtle and I just couldn't put my finger on it.

It is the only Shreve book I have read, and I admit that it doesn't have me rushing out to read more!


Jgrace | 3112 comments Nicole R wrote: "I gave this one four stars but remember it left me with a bit of an ugh feeling. I listened to it as well and maybe that is what got to me but it was subtle and I just couldn't put my finger on it...."

She was totally deadpan except when she was doing a character voice and even those weren't distinctive. She put a wierd inflection at the end of every sentence. I checked my notes and I did get a library copy to read the last few chapters. The book really did get better then.

I had two books on my kindle that I wanted to read this month that I didn't get to because I didn't like the readers of my audio books. Made me realize how many more books I get to because I'm ususally listening at all hours of the day.


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