Tragedy in Home Fires || SPOILER-FREE BOOK REVIEW

Home Fires by Fiona Lowe

5 Star Rating System 4 stars


Genre: General Fiction
Author: Fiona Lowe
Published: February 2019
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 487 {paperback}

Review on Goodreads

Thanks to HarperCollins for sending me a copy of this in exchange for review

Initial Thoughts upon Finishing

Okay so, this book took me completely by surprise. I cannot believe I’m rating it a solid 4-stars?? I was sure, even half-way through, that this wouldn’t be my cup of tea. But damn. This book is one hell of an emotional roller coaster and spectacularly well-written. It’s depressing, it’s anxiety-inducing and there is so much stress. But I’m so grateful this was sent to me for review because I would never have picked it up for myself.

Home Fires

This is an adult book and I am so surprised to find myself in a situation where I’ve read an adult book about serious things rather than a book about dragons knitting beanies. This book is very stressful and definitely anxiety-inducing, that is something I will say up front. I was so stressed and just GAHHH the whole time reading it. So maybe don’t pick this up if you can’t deal with things such as:

  • Rape
  • Abuse
  • Depression
  • Extreme grief

And more. Like I said, a very intense read that had me on edge. That being said, it’s also a beautiful exploration and journey with the characters from start to end.

What It’s Really About

This book follows the life of several women after the devastating fire that completely destroyed their town, Myrtle. Some have lost everything, some have lost family, some are disfigured. We rotate through the characters, all from female perspectives, and slowly discover where their journey is going with them. That, and we follow them as they work out how to rebuild and go forward.

The way the book is structured is jumping back and forth to all different times periods. At first, this was slightly confusing and frustrating when you just wanted to get to the end of one storyline. But it’s a really clever way of revealing the story slowly to us and keeping us on-edge and as uncertain as the characters themselves. The writing style for this story reminded me a lot of reading a Kristin Hannah book – the raw feelings and sense of journey that comes from her writing.

My Only Complaint?

The one thing that got me with this book was the way it’s done with happy and sad moments. Let me explain: it’s much easier on the reader to go through a really stressful period with characters and feel those emotions, and then get the reprieve of the character’s successful or some good fortune.

Until the very last page for this book, this does not happen. Which is why it’s a hard (but extremely addictive) read. It is depressing event after depressing event with no break in the sadness, stress or tragedy. I honestly think this could have benefitted from some happier moments just to make the book as a whole not so soul-sucking to get through.


All in all though, I cannot deny that I fell in love with this story and its characters. By about 50% of the way through I wasn’t sure I would get to the end, but suddenly I just couldn’t put it down. By the time I got to the final 50 pages I was racing through it and eating up the story. The best thing is the way this story ends. It’s satisfying and wonderful and after spending so much time hoping these characters would have something go right it’s nice to be able to celebrate in their victories. I would definitely recommend reading this – just don’t do it during a stressful or very busy time for you!

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Happy Reading

~~ Kirstie ~~


One thought on “Tragedy in Home Fires || SPOILER-FREE BOOK REVIEW

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