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The Fireman's Wife

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The Fireman's Wife Cover

ISBN13: 9780345480064
ISBN10: 0345480066
Condition:
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Its June 1970. As the low country of South Carolina burns in a seven-month drought, Cassie Johnson longs for escape: both from her husband, Peck, the towns newly promoted fire chief, who seems more interested in saving everyone elses life than in living his own, and from the low country marshes where Cassie has never quite felt at home. But as Peck and Cassie drift apart, their teenage daughter, Kelly, finds herself torn between her parents and her desperate need for normalcy. It will take a tumultuous journey back to the North Carolina mountains before Cassie can begin to understand the complicated love that resides, unrecognized, deep in her heart.

From a masterly voice in Southern fiction, The Firemans Wife is an emotionally bare and moving novel about one womans struggle to do whats right-for her family, for her love, and for herself.

Review:

"The unhappy wife of a fireman in 1970 realizes too late that her independence comes at a high price in Riggs's often heavy-handed novel. Early pregnancy forced Cassie Johnson into a marriage and a life she wasn't sure she wanted. Her husband Peck's job as their small South Carolina town's fire chief prevents him from giving her the attention she craves. Cassie finds solace in the arms of another fireman, Clay Taylor, and leaves town with him, determined to start over, but when she realizes she's just repeating her mistakes, she flees to her mother in the mountains for some soul searching. Soon she realizes the unexpected and tragic consequences of her actions. Riggs's 1970s South bears little resemblance to the South of social turmoil, and he overuses tired metaphors of rain, drought and oppressive humidity. But despite Cassie's lack of complexity, Riggs captures her internal life well and gives her conflicts legitimacy and gravitas." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

From the award-winning author of "When the Finch Rises" comes this lucid, graceful, and extraordinarily moving portrayal of a young family's struggle to stay together, and their dawning realization that sometimes it may be better, and less dangerous, to simply let go.

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Mel, September 27, 2009 (view all comments by Mel)
I neither loved nor hated this book. I feel sort of indifferent towards it. It might have something to do with where I was in my personal life at the time I read it, but I simply couldn’t connect with the storyline or the characters. That said, I will definitely give it another chance and re-read it in the near future and should my opinion change (which I’m sure it will) I’ll edit this review.
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OneMansView, January 26, 2009 (view all comments by OneMansView)
Not all that coherent (3.25 *s)

This is an unusual book in that the author depicts a troubled marriage of some fifteen years finally reaching a breaking point due in large part to the role that both geography and weather have played in their lives. Cassie met Peck Johnson after her senior year in high school on a visit to Myrtle Beach, SC. Her pregnancy forced her to curtail college plans and move to the marsh lands of SC with Peck. Her complete estrangement from her fundamentalist pastor father and thereby from her home in the mountains of NC, combined with her realization that she profoundly dislikes the way of life in the coastal lands, have left her unhappy for all these years. Her many threats to leave have largely been met with stoicism and patience by Peck.

Peck’s recent promotion to chief of a fire station in Garden City Beach only aggravates her solitude and distress, which she seeks to alleviate with an increasingly obvious affair with Clay Taylor, a fireman at Peck’s station. Much of what occurs in the book is a result of Cassie deciding to escape from her miserable life by moving to Walhalla, SC, with Clay where he has taken a job as fire chief. But there are complications. Foremost is the anger of fifteen year old daughter Kelly, a superb softball player and a daddy’s girl. At this point in her life, it seems that anything undertaken by Cassie is undermined by her indecisiveness. She wonders if she is not simply exchanging one fireman for another.

The book is organized as alternating chapters, first from Cassie’s view, then Peck’s. The author does not shy away from gratuitous mayhem, as he has Peck in his capacity as a fireman attending more death scenes from a variety of accidents over a couple of weeks than most fireman in a large city would witness in a lifetime. A prolonged drought in the area casts a gloomy pall over the entire area, but more ominously looms prophetically for its potential for large, uncontrollable wild fires.

The book is disappointing on many fronts. The non-communication between Cassie and Peck goes largely unexplained, both being rather mild-mannered, likeable people, who apparently are quite fond of each other. The geographical explanation is insufficient. Peck also is depicted rather one-dimensionally: if he is not surfing, he is seems to be waist-deep in the muck of the marsh lands. Cassie is the more sympathetic character, but her inability to adapt to life with Peck as a young woman and her non-stop anxieties seem peculiar. There are many – too many - scenes of being on the road in a car with, of course, at least one party being sullen. Despite a certain level of appeal, the book suffers from repetitiveness, which scarcely hides a lack of imagination, and from a decided lack of realistic emotions and behavior. The book feels pieced together with an ending that is no more satisfactory than Cassie’s strange emotionalism.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780345480064
Author:
Riggs, Jack
Publisher:
Ballantine Books
Author:
Jack Riggs
Subject:
General
Subject:
Self-actualization (psychology)
Subject:
South carolina
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20081231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.04x5.88x.76 in. .55 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Fireman's Wife New Trade Paper
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Product details 352 pages Ballantine Books - English 9780345480064 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The unhappy wife of a fireman in 1970 realizes too late that her independence comes at a high price in Riggs's often heavy-handed novel. Early pregnancy forced Cassie Johnson into a marriage and a life she wasn't sure she wanted. Her husband Peck's job as their small South Carolina town's fire chief prevents him from giving her the attention she craves. Cassie finds solace in the arms of another fireman, Clay Taylor, and leaves town with him, determined to start over, but when she realizes she's just repeating her mistakes, she flees to her mother in the mountains for some soul searching. Soon she realizes the unexpected and tragic consequences of her actions. Riggs's 1970s South bears little resemblance to the South of social turmoil, and he overuses tired metaphors of rain, drought and oppressive humidity. But despite Cassie's lack of complexity, Riggs captures her internal life well and gives her conflicts legitimacy and gravitas." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , From the award-winning author of "When the Finch Rises" comes this lucid, graceful, and extraordinarily moving portrayal of a young family's struggle to stay together, and their dawning realization that sometimes it may be better, and less dangerous, to simply let go.
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