Author: Fiona Lowe
Publication Date: 18 February 2019
Publisher: HQ Fiction
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher
Fiona Lowe is a talented and prolific Australian author, she writes in multiple genres and though I haven’t read a lot of her work though I have read the Australian sagas, and loved them.
Life gets well and truly on top of me sometimes and I am still reading this book. I started with such great intentions, way too long ago, and I hope to finish it sometime this month.
Lowe has written a complex story of the long road to recovery after devastating bushfires wreak havoc on a small town. The rebuilding has begun and there are lots of bright new business buildings but the damage to people and their relationships are much harder to heal.
I’m about two thirds of the way through and invested in the story, connected to the characters and wishing I could reach in and slap some characters.
It is difficult for me to review too extensively because I am still in the midst of this story, still living with these characters and waiting with some semblance of patience to find out how it’s all going to end.
The narrative jumps through a number of leading ladies in both the past and the present. We get to know them through snippets of life in the time before the fires, before their worlds were completely torn down and in need of rebuilding as well as navigating the post-fire life they have been left with.
Julie is a community stalwart who has spent decades working for the town and now she wants to bring in some fresh faces to hand the baton to and help bring the tourists back to the struggling town. She handpicks a craft group of unlikely allies who meet once a week and slowly begin to forge more than just a civil working relationship.
Fiona Lowe has written strong and believable characters who will certainly flex all of your empathetic muscles, and those that will test all of your nerves.
Home Fires is a tale of home, loss, heartbreak and renewal. Lowe has explored small town communities with intricate care and sensitivity resulting in a story that is driven by it’s strong female characters; a story about the people and their relationships more than the events taking place around them.
I can’t wait to finish and sit back to really think about this one, once everything is said and done. If I’m really lucky someone will get what’s coming to them.
UPDATE: So I gave myself the night off and curled up with this book, and stayed up way past bedtime reading until I finished.
The final third of the book pulled together all the threads to give a comprehensive picture of the whys. We get an in-depth look at the day of the fire through the eyes of our leads and it goes a long way to help us understand the long term trauma they are still dealing with two years later.
I loved this element of the story and it totally tugged my heart-strings thinking of what these characters lived through, and ultimately had to live with.
There were a couple of interesting twists that I didn’t see coming and a satisfying ending that saw me close the book with a smile.
I’m also really looking forward to hearing what our members have to say about Home Fires.
Home Fires is available now through HQ Fiction and where all good books are sold.