Saturday, 22 February 2014

" Things We Set On Fire " by Deborah Reed

I received a copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.........

Vivvie is woken in the middle of the night by a phone call from local police, asking her to come and collect her two grandaughters.  Her youngest daughter, Kate, is in the hospital and there is no one else to mind the little girls.  Vivvie is no stranger to heartbreak as we discover early on in this book.  She is a widow, with two estranged daughters and now is landed with two young girls she barely knows and she contacts her other daughter, Elin for some help.  All is not what it seems though and the two women discover that Kate's disappearance from their lives may have had a hidden agenda.  

The author blends parts of the past with the present and we can begin to form a picture of the girl's lives growing up with their widowed mother and all that it entailed.  Sisters can clash at the best of times, but the loss of their father at an early age, shaped their personalities for the future.  Both stubborn and self preserving,  they chose to remove themselves from their mother's life and try to be individuals in their own right.  When Kate is hospitalised, the women are forced to examine their current situations and assess their priorities.  

This is a novel of feeling.  Beautifully written with some wonderful prose, harrowing at times, but all with a view to exploring the meaning of family.  Split into four parts, it has short chapters, is very easy to read and it is over before you know it.  I loved the whole feel of a non- traditional family and how a moment of misery can sometimes bring change you could never expect.  Well worth reading.


  1. Sounds like a book full of emotion. I love books that look under the hood of family life so your review has me interested.

    1. It is well worth getting a copy.... It reminded me of my own bizzare family. Lots of us estranged too but sometimes that is for the best. Great little book.

  2. This sounds like I book I would love to read!

  3. It's great value on Kindle if you have one :)
    I had never heard of it through regular review sites so glad I downloaded it!


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