Monday, September 25, 2017

Review: Working Fire by Emily Bleeker

Title: Working Fire
Author: Emily Bleeker
Published: August 2017, Lake Union Publishing
Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Source: Publisher
 
From the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of When I’m Gone comes a compelling novel of a bond between sisters, tested by tragedy…

Ellie Brown thought she’d finally escaped her stifling hometown of Broadlands, Illinois; med school was supposed to be her ticket out. But when her father has a stroke, she must return home to share his care with her older sister, Amelia, who’s busy with her own family. Working as a paramedic, Ellie’s days are monotonous, driving an ambulance through streets she’d hoped never to see again.

Until a 911 dispatch changes everything. The address: her sister’s house. Rushing to the scene, Ellie discovers that Amelia and her husband, Steve, have been shot in a home invasion. After Amelia is rushed to the hospital, Ellie tries to make sense of the tragedy. But what really happened inside her sister’s house becomes less and less clear. As Amelia hangs on in critical condition, Ellie uncovers dark revelations about her family’s past that challenge her beliefs about those closest to her…and force her to question where her devotions truly lie.

My thoughts: Emily Bleeker is a new author for me and I knew as soon as I heard about this book that it was something I wanted to read. Not only did I enjoy it, but now I have another author that I can add to my ever-growing list of authors to select from!

I loved the way this story is told - alternating between the two sisters, Ellie in the present day as she gets the call about the shooting and then by Amelia starting five weeks prior. It's eerie and it's chilling as you work to desperately put the pieces together alongside both characters to figure out just what is really going on. 

As much as there is a mystery to this book - why were Amelia and her husband shot - there is so much more to this book than just this. It's so much deeper and this, to me, is what really laid the foundation to this book. It's about family and the relationships that this family is built upon. And of course, it's a book that is layered with secrets - that's really what is driving a lot of the action in this book. But, then again, when it comes to family, isn't that what is behind most of the drama in any family?

The characters and the relationships that we see are so richly drawn. I felt that I had a very good idea of who each sister was and what they stood for. Having each sister tell their own side of the story really allows us to get inside their head - see their side of things and understand how things are from their perspectives. 

The story is intense and keeps you invested as the pieces start to fall into place, though not necessarily where you might think they would. It's a tightly wound story that has quite an unexpected ending and I wonder if there is any possibility of a sequel? I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be reading more from this author.


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