Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Review: What Burns Away by Melissa Falcon Field

One woman's life is about to explode into flames-but she's the one lighting the match

Upon relocating to snowy Madison with a distant physician husband, New England native Claire Spruce is besieged by a dark past when her first love finds her again. Breaking decades of silence, old flame Dean offers an intoxicating, reckless escape from motherhood's monotony. Enchanted by his return, while yearning for her own mislaid identity, she agrees to repay a favor that could incinerate her marriage and her child's well-being. What Burns Away is a story of loyalty, family and the realization that the past is nearly always waiting for us in the future.

Paperback, 336 pages
Expected publication: January 27th 2015 by Sourcebooks Landmark
Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher Sourcebooks via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is January 27th, 2015.

I have mixed emotions about this story.  I will start with the part that I struggled with.

Characters - I had a hard time identifying with any of them.  I could not understand Claire's depression and grief.  It seemed very juvenile to me.  Yes I can see how she was frustrated with her husband and her new living conditions but it was evident her grief was deeper than that.  It was the ghosts of her past I couldn't understand.  Miles her husband - I was indifferent to him.  He worked to much and didn't pay attention to his family as he should but aside from that I have no opinion

Dean deserves his own paragraph.  There was nothing remotely likeable about him.  Not in his adult version nor the version that fourteen year old Claire fell in love with.  I go back to when I was fourteen and I still would have seen nothing but a deadbeat.  He was practically an adult and taking advantage of a fourteen year old girl.  This was creepy and I couldn't get past it.  He continued with the same behavior as an adult.  I just could not see how someone like him could lead Claire astray the way he did.

This is where I can talk about the deeper themes at play in the story.  This is a story about guilt, depression, family and loss.  It could be argued that these were the driving factors for Claire's actions and not an old love from when she was still a young girl.  I get this, I really do.  It doesn't make the story sit any easier for me.  I can easily see how this book could be discussed at length in a book club as there are many parts with deeper emotion than is displayed on the surface.

For me at the end of the day the story was an ok read.

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