Things You Save In A Fire @katherinecenter @StMartinsPress #strength #heartache #findinglove #womensfiction #fictionfriends #duoreviews @JanBelisle @absltmom

Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center {Review ...

Both Jan and I were thrilled when we were able to secure an advanced copy of Katherine Center’s book, Things You Save in a Fire. We found much to love about this story, as its narrative, its characters, and writing were truly something special.

Things You Save in a Fire
“I’m at my very best when things are at their very worst.”

Jan’s review

Life has been tough for Cassie. To cope, she has built walls that lets no one in, especially men, and she thrives on routine and order with no drama. Oh, and she’s a  firefighter who can hold her own physically and mentally in a male-dominated profession.

When her ailing, estranged mother asks her to come live with her in Massachusetts for a year, Cassie moves from her modern, progressive fire department in Austin, to a job at a small, ill-equipped firehouse where she’s up against some old-fashioned ideas about women in the profession. Before she moves, her old boss gives her “The Rules” on how to survive in her new job. 

katherine center

“So to succeed in my new job, I basically need to be an asexual, androgynous, human robot that’s dead to all physical and emotional sensation”

 And then life throws her for a loop when she meets The Rookie, a firefighter who starts the job on the same day. The Rookie has Cassie re-thinking The Rules. But the Rookie isn’t the only person who is leading Cassie to question her life choices. She must navigate the complicated mother-daughter relationship and come to terms with a trauma in her past.

Marialyce and I had fun reading this one! There’s so much to love about this well-written book. It’s light and fun but with substance and depth. The protagonist is a strong, independent, capable woman but not without flaws, which makes her relatable. The theme of forgiveness, of yourself and others, is strong and well-done with many thoughtful, quotable passages. The side characters were delightful.

Is it a bit sappy and predictable? Yes, but this kind of book demands it and I went from laughing to tears more than once. These are characters to root for and I closed the last page with a smile on my face. 

Katherine Center is a go-to author and a must read. Publication date is August 13, 2019. Do yourself a favor and read it!  I rate according to genre, and this gets 5 enthusiastic stars.

The Lost Husband | Katherine Center

*many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for a copy of this book for review

* this was a fantastic buddy read with my friend Marialyce, and a book we both highly recommend.

Marialyce’s review

Life is sometimes so very hard. We find we bump up against adversity, and though we try to tough it through the bad times, we often find ourselves injured in ways not visible to others, yet surely visible to ourselves.

Katherine Center Quotes. QuotesGram

“That’s the thing I always love best about the human race: How we pick ourselves back up over and over and just keep on going.”

True to this quote, Cassie has had to pick herself up and move on. She has had much in her young life that has made her hard on the outside, a tough as nails exterior which hides the hurt that she feels deep within her heart.

Cassie was left by her mother on of all things her sixteenth birthday. She doesn’t understand and as she matures the rift with her mother becomes further entrenched. That is until her mother asks her to come and be with her for a year. Cassie, as a result of some well deserved punches, kicks, and assorted other blows to a former “high school “friend” who is now a high profile councilman, is about to lose the job she loves, that of being a firefighter. But as fate often does, her mother’s plea coupled with the ability to work in another fire department allows Cassie to still be exactly what she loves and she reluctantly moves in with her mother.

Ten years I’d simmered in my own self-righteousness, holding my grudge against her as if the only way to win was to stay mad the longest.”

That is the catalyst that changes Cassie’s life bringing her into her mother’s world, the world of the new firehouse and the men who work there and most importantly meeting the Rookie, a young man starting out in the job.

Thanks to wonderful writing that was touching and poignant, a great story line that didn’t get lost in the shuffle, and characters that were portrayed with all their quirks and foibles, this story turned out to be beautiful. It taught the reader along the way that love and forgiveness is really the most important aspects of a human life.

Quotes Love Relationships And Forgiveness. QuotesGram

“Choosing to love—despite all the ways that people let you down, and disappear, and break your heart. Knowing everything we know about how hard life is and choosing to love, anyway.. That’s not weakness, that’s courage.”

I definitely recommend this book to everyone, especially those like Jan and I who so love a wonderful women’s fiction story that will hit you in all the right places. Look for it on August 13th, 2019, read it and enjoy!

Thanks you to Katherine Center, St Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a copy of this lovely book.

and here’s the author:

Katherine Center
In the end, you can only write a book that you yourself would like to read.

Katherine Center is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of How to Walk Away, as well as the upcoming novel, Things You Save in a Fire (August 13, 2019). She’s also written five other bittersweet comic novels about love and family, including The Bright Side of Disaster,The Lost Husband,and Happiness for Beginners.  The Lost Husband is currently in production as a feature film starring Josh Duhamel and Leslie BibbKatherine’s work has appeared in Redbook, InStylePeopleUSA Today, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Real Simple, Southern Living, InTouch, the Dallas Morning News, and the Houston Chronicle, and many others

20 thoughts on “Things You Save In A Fire @katherinecenter @StMartinsPress #strength #heartache #findinglove #womensfiction #fictionfriends #duoreviews @JanBelisle @absltmom

  1. Fabulous work! I love this double review- we all tend to notice slightly different things and this one sounds like a really inspiring story. Great quotes, Marialyce! Hope to read it as soon as it comes out in August ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic review, Jan and Marialyce! I loved this one so much too. It was such a lovely story; my mother and I haven’t seen each other but 2x in 23 years and we don’t speak except an occasional text message, so I really connected with this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so sorry to hear that about your mom, Stephanie. My relationship with my mom ended when we took her car away from her. She was 92, and had a number of blackouts. She wanted my daughter and son in law to go to jail and accused them of stealing her car. It was awful really, but I have moved on and my kids are safe, which is what matters to me.


  4. Wonderful reviews. I really like the sound of this one and the themes especially the one Jan mentioned on forgiveness. I have been on the lookout for this title ever since I heard about it. Hope to read it soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great reviews Marialyce and Jan. I have this book to read and need to get to it. I love women’s fiction and this sounds like a good one that will elicit lots of emotions. I do love to laugh when I read.

    Liked by 1 person

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