Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center
Author: Katherine Center
To Be Published: August 13, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 8-12, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated.
The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew, even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because she doesn’t fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don’t date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she’s worked so hard to be taken seriously?
Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt, affecting novel about life, love, and the true meaning of courage.
I introduced myself to Katherine Center last year with How to Walk Away (HTWA) (my review is here) and loved it , so I eagerly anticipated her next novel which was Things You Save in a Fire (to be called Things for the rest of this review) and was not disappointed in the least. And Things is about a female firefighter: Go girl empowerment!
Center wrote the novel through examples of real life situations her volunteer fire fighter husband told her about the job and living in the fire house. I’ve spent a little time in firehouses and even put the turnout gear on and based on what I experienced, the novel is spot on!
Our protagonist Cassie made a brief appearance in HTWA which was referenced in Things. You won’t miss anything if you have not read HTWA, but it adds to Cassie’s story if you have already read it. I personally loved how the books were connected. I really liked Cassie and identified with her in several ways. Firefighting really is a ‘boys club’ and Cassie totally kicks male butt! You can’t help but cheer for her. She is also a conflicted character and feels like a real person. Center does a great job capturing real life struggles and putting them on the page. There are moments that will have you laughing and then moments that touch you in a personal way.
This novel has a bit of everything: romance, mystery, action, and yes, we do get a fire! With the fire situation the reader gets the experience of working that fire and going inside with the fire fighters.
I alluded to it earlier, and want to talk about my experience in a fire house: Back in 2004 I took part in a Citizen’s Fire Academy where I learned about my local fire department, did some training, and spent time at two fire stations with the men on shift. I got to go on the calls they received, and yes, one was a fire call! It ended up being a kitchen fire that was out by the time we arrived on the scene. It was a great experience and if the opportunity arises, everyone should do this! You really get a new appreciation and respect for what they do.
Bravo Katherine Center for an enjoyable novel that accurately portrays life in a fire house base on what I experienced myself. When you read this novel, you will get to see what life as a fire fighter is like in a 24 hour shift: from the silliness to seriousness.
Things You Save in a Fire is very highly recommended. Special thanks to St. Martin’s Press for granting me an e-arc that I received via NetGalley.
Some pictures from when I went through the Citizen’s Fire Academy: