Review - Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center @katherinecenter @StMartinsPress

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: August 13, 2019
Date Read: August 16, 2019
Length: 320 pages
Source: NetGalley / Publisher
From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel about family, hope, and learning to love against all odds.

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.
 My Review

This was fantastic!  This book made me feel things.  Lots of things.  I was holding my breath because I was so worried about the characters.  I was afraid to turn the page but couldn't put the book down.  It was the kind of reading experience that turned me into such a big reader.  If only every book was able to grab me as this one did.  I guess you could say that I enjoyed this book.

Cassie is a firefighter.  At the start of the book, she works at a station in Texas but things soon get a little crazy and Cassie finds herself needing a new station.  Cassie has also been asked by her mother to move in with her for the next year to help out since she is losing her sight.  So Cassie finds herself moving to Boston to help a mother that she hasn't been close to since she was a teen and starting a job with a new crew at a firehouse that is very different than anything she is used to.

I loved watching Cassie work to navigate the unfamiliar fire station.  She is the first woman to work at the facility and not everyone is thrilled to have her on board.  She feels that constantly forced to prove her worth to the others on the crew.  She is also having a difficult time connecting with her mother.  Cassie really doesn't want to deal with all of the feelings that come into play when she thinks about what her mother has done.

When I started reading this book, I didn't expect that romance would come into play.  But it did and I must say that I am happy that it was a part of the story.  I loved The Rookie.  Every scene that he shared with Cassie put a smile on my face.  He really was such a nice guy and I thought that he was really good for Cassie.  I loved their chemistry and the way they seemed to understand and open up to each other.  It is a good thing that The Rookie is a fictional character because if he was real, I think that Cassie would have more than a little competition. 

I loved the way this story was laid out.  The pacing of the story was perfect.  We learn things just as we need to.  Most readers would be able to figure out some of the key points before the character is ready to share.  I thought that this was very effective.  I thought I knew what happened to Cassie so it was really powerful when it was finally confirmed.  There were some pretty intense scenes and some really heartfelt moments and they were all beautifully done.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  This was a wonderful story of learning to forgive, standing up for yourself, and putting everything on the line for those you care about.  My only complaint would be that the ending was a little too happily ever after but I will take it.  I plan to read much more of Katherine Center's work soon!

I received a review copy of this book from St. Martin's Press.
About the Author

KATHERINE CENTER is the author of six novels, including How to Walk Away, Happiness for Beginners, The Bright Side of Disaster, and Everyone Is Beautiful. Her books and essays have appeared in Redbook, People, USA Today, Vanity Fair, and Real Simple, as well as the anthologies Because I Love Her, CRUSH, and My Parents Were Awesome. Katherine is a graduate of Vassar College and the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. She lives in Houston with her husband and two sweet children.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter


  1. Wow, great review, Carole! This one has been on my radar and I was considering whether I wanted to read it or not but you've convinced me. I definitely want to meet Cassie... and The Rookie. :)

  2. welll fire- fighters do constantly have to prove that they are fit for the job to begin with. Great Cassie just proves that even girls can be strong enough for a career in the firies

  3. My last firefighter romance was meh, but this one sounds pretty good. Glad it was a real page-turner for you and I'm adding it to my list.

  4. Wow, that good?! I have to keep an eye out

  5. It looks really well done and the topic is interesting too. I didn't know about this one

  6. This book moved me. I don't know if I was extra tuned in, because I am the daughter of a firefighter, but I inhaled this book. I loved the characters, the mix of emotions, the story, and the theme of forgiveness that runs throughout the book. It was beautiful and perfect and I loved it, and I'm so happy you liked it too. And, oh, the Rookie owned me.

  7. Excellent review! I'm glad it was such a hit for you. I will have to check it out.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  8. This is a book I can see myself enjoying. Great review, Carole.

  9. I've seen this book around, but I never read the book description so I had no idea what it was about. This does sound like an amazing read! I'm off to look for a copy. Wonderful review, Carole! :)

  10. This is going on my list. I love the idea of it! Thanks for the wonderful review.

  11. This sounds like such a good read! I am glad you loved it, Carole. I am definitely going to have to read it!

  12. Well it seems like you very much loved this book and I am glad that you got to have the kind of experience that led to you loving reading. I think it is great that this one focuses on the first female firefighter at her station and the suspense sounds so good.

  13. I can't wait to give this one a read!! Awesome review!


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