Wednesday, August 8, 2018

When We Caught Fire by Anna Godbersen - OPTIONAL

When We Caught Fire by Anna Godbersen, 384 pages.  Harper Teen, October 2018.  $19.  

Language: G (8 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG (implied off page sex); Violence: PG (boxing)



It may be just a few days before her wedding, but Emmaline is having second thoughts about her dream marriage to Frederick Tree, a luminary in Chicago’s glitterati in 1871. Her mind still wonders if she loves Anders – the boy she left behind in the old neighborhood when her father fought his way up in business and into a better life.  So she sends her maid, Fiona, who also was part of the trio of friends in the old place with a message.  Emmaline and Anders make a plan, but as she waffles with indecision, her moment to escape comes and goes and instead Fiona and Anders make their own pledges and plans. When the fire descends, lives will be in danger.

Godbersen tries to write Emmaline as a sympathetic character, but instead she is a whiny, wishy-washy, entitled brat who doesn’t deserve to be part of a faked-up love triangle. Better that this had been a two-person love story set to the backdrop of the Fire instead of writing the origins of the fire to suit the purposes of the story.  I have to admit, though, I was wrong about how popular The Selection Series would be in my library, so I might be wrong about this one.  (But I don’t think I am wrong).

Cindy, Middle School Librarian

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