Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
Publication Date: Available now from Sourcebooks.
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.
I thought this was a fabulous read, unexpectedly so to be honest. I must thank friend and fellow book blogger Maxine for recommending it to me, because otherwise it may have sadly passed me by.
So we have Claire then, generally unhappy having moved away from her home and feeling increasingly isolated from her workaholic husband, she embarks on a flirtation via social media with her first love, Dean. Things take a dangerous turn as Claire tries to recapture her sense of self and may end up exploding her whole life in the process.
Beautifully written this - it just flows along, capturing you in Claire's story, her emotions and her actions, sometimes you are nodding along, sometimes you want to scream at her to THINK first. The themes running throughout the story are all emotive and authentic - after all as we grow older that sense of those things we may have missed can often solidify in our mind. I especially related to Claire - she grew up at the same time I did, things like the Challenger disaster setting the scene, putting you right along with her during the flashback portions of the tale.
Whilst I did not always find Claire likeable, often a bit entitled and whiny, a lot of what she goes through is understandable. Her husband is distant, as a Doctor his work keeps him away for long hours, while Claire is at home with a young child. This resonated with me, as someone who also has been at home with the children, her loss of self image rang utterly true.
There are a lot of surprises along the way, this is not always as straightforward as it seems - as such it is an intelligent and clever drama with fascinating themes of love, family and loyalty and exploring in an engaging and utterly captivating way how every action has consequences. I hesitate to say much more about the full intensity of the plot, but it will definitely give you pause for thought and may end up completely surprising you.
Happy Reading Folks!