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A Fire Sparkling From the USA Today bestselling author of A Curve in the Road comes a spellbinding novel about one woman’s love loss and courage during wartimeAfter a crushing betrayal by the man she loves Gillian Gibbons flees to her family home for a much needed escape but when she finds an old photograph of her grandmother in the arms of a Nazi officer Gillian’s life gets even complicated Rattled by the discovery Gillian attempts to unravel the truth behind the photos setting her off on an epic journey through the past1939 England is on the brink of war as Vivian Hughes falls in love with a handsome British official but when bombs begin to fall and Vivian’s happy life is destroyed in the blitz she will do whatever it takes to protect those she lovesAs Gillian learns about her grandmother’s past the old photo begins to make sense But for every uestion answered a new one takes its place Faced with a truth that is not at all what she expected Gillian attempts to shine a light not only on the mysteries of her family’s past but also on her own futureThis gorgeously written multigenerational saga is a heart wrenching yet hopeful examination of one woman’s struggle to survive perfect for fans of The Nightingale and Beneath a Scarlet Sky Overall A dual time period character driven story set with the backdrop of WWII A story of conflict family love betrayal acceptance and love The book had potential to be but is still enjoyable I would recommend to fans of historical fiction especially WWII but note that this is much easier reading than many similar books within this genre 6510 or 355Summary This book has three main character and is told from third person Vivian and dual first person Gillian and April using present day 2011 and memories from the past 1939 1945 Gillian is our heroine in present day and after a crushing betrayal by her boyfriend she flees to her family home While home she comes across a photograph of her grandmother Vivian in the arms of a Nazi Gillian and her father confront Vivian grandmother about this and so begins out story In 1939 England is on the brink of war and the story follows Vivan and April who are twin sisters The Good I really liked the characters and this was the heart of the book for me All the characters were likeable and I could relate to them in some way Nice writing and a uick plot grabs and holds onto you in for the duration of this book Easy reading on an interesting topic with some emotional complexityThe Bad This book could have been a lot but I feel it only scratched the surface uite superficial lacked depth in some key areas and very predictable I enjoyed the story of Vivian and April much than the present day story If you like this book then I suggest the following The Nightingale The Alice Network Beneath a Scarlet Sky and The Huntress An excellent novel filled with romance heartache betrayal loyalty danger secrets suspense adventures and a cast of unforgettable characters As you begin reading this book prepare to be swept awayThe scenes are so vividly painted I felt as though I was walking the streets of London right along with the characters who were deeply developed and very well connected Easily I became immersed into their lives I rejoiced at their good news and felt their sadness at other times As secrets became burdens the tension was palpable As characters agonized over difficult decisions I worried with them Heart wrenching betrayals became very real possibilitiesThere is so much uncertainty with war The one certainty is that war changes things and people War destroys buildings and changes lives and relationships War forces people to change how they live love survive and make decisions Some of these decisions have life long and life altering conseuences Decisions which become conseuences can then become closely guarded secrets Some secrets get carried to the grave while others get discovered in unusual unexpected waysSo many choices to make Duty or honor? Truth or lies? Loyalty or treachery? Can any of these opposites coexist?Many secrets and stories will be revealed as Vivian is enjoying her golden years and suddenly her son and granddaughter want answers to uestions she had been hoping to never have been askedAs Vivian recounts her story we learn of complicated family conflicts and loyalties We learn that a tragic ending can actually become a fresh new beginning We learn that sometimes there are very compelling reasons for keeping secrets Vivian’s life underwent many changes and with each change she was reuired to wear a new mask The wearing of all these masks prepared Vivian for each of her next realitiesI thoroughly enjoyed this excellent book I felt many emotions while reading it At times it caused me to gasp and other times I shed tears So very well done and so very much enjoyedI received a complimentary copy of this book from Lake Union Publishing through NetGalley Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own I really enjoyed A Fire Sparkling by Julianne MacLean and it's a book full of interesting surprises It's a story with a dual timeline that seamlessly blends the past and with the presentIn 2011 Gillian catches her boyfriend cheating she's very upset and she's goes to visit her dad She had no idea that he's just found a mysterious box filled with old photographs of his mother Vivian and she's standing next to a man who's dressed as a Nazi officer?Edward is very confused he had been told his dad Theodore had died during WW II during the blitz in London why is his mum standing next to a German soldier and he's now worried this mysterious man might be his father?Vivian is now in her 90's she begins the story by explaining to her son Edward and her grand daughter Gillian why she's in the photograph what happened to her in the past and during WW IISoon your swept way in a dramatic heartfelt tale about lost love romance secrets mystery and danger that all takes place during the war I loved A Fire Sparkling I'm a fan of WW II historical fiction and I gave the book fours stars I have posted my review on Goodreads Australian Twitter Barnes Noble NetGalley and my bloghttpskarrenreadsbooksblogspotcom A Fire Sparkling will leave you breathlessit is that good I am not going to rehash the synopsis because I don’t want to inadvertently give any spoilers Julianne MacLean has written a story that spans WWII years with lessons that carry into the present for the families of those who lived those who died and those who loved She paints a poignant picture of life as Britain is drawn into war with Germany She writes about the bond between sisters and the bond between friends She writes about bravery in the face of evil and the effects of secrets that finally come to light This is a book that should not be missed I voluntarily reviewed an advance copy of this book Most highly recommend Update 23082019 After reading some other one and two star reviews I skimmed through the rest of the book A few readers said the second half was an improvement on the first especially with regard to Gillian's story line I don't agree and I stand by everything I wrote below22082019This may be one of the worst reading experiences I've had in a long time It was either a Kindle First Read or bonus of some kind; fortunately I paid nothing for it I had hopes for it since WW II anti Nazi resistance and the role of women in that conflict are among my favorite themes I tried to finish but just had to uit at about the halfway mark The plot if one can call it that is contrived predictable and implausible; the major twist of the plot was immediately apparent to me from the very beginning though the author spins it out for several endless chapters The cardboard characters from major to minor have neither depth nor hint of complexity The dialogue is trite almost embarrassingly banal Goodreads categorizes the book as historical fiction but the thin veneer of historical events is only a mask for what I would call not very good romantic fiction A complete waste of time This multi generational dual timeline story is a uniue twist on WWII historical fiction The plot was fantastic the character development authentic and timely and the plot twists unexpected and well planned This book is on the larger side but I blew through it in two days completely caught up in this beautiful story This was spectacularly written the author clearly put a lot of time and energy into her research I absolutely loved this novel and give it the full 5⭐️’s Thank you publishing for this advance reader in exchange for my honest review Sometimes you think you know someone but maybe it's imposible to really know everything about a person even someone you love Maybe good people the very best people are just better at keeping secretsGillian Gibbons returns to her childhood home after discovering something uite troubling about her boyfriend Seeking a respite she is shocked when her father delivers some troubling news of his own He reveals to Gillian that he found photos of his mother Gill's grandmother with a Nazi officer hidden in the attic When Gill sees the pictures she is taken aback as her grandmother looks happy in them In a much mor different time Vivian Hughes was a young woman living in London during the Blitz where she had to make tough decisions to save her familyLast year I began to broaden my horizons and read historical fiction books that were not WWII andor Holocaust related as there is an abundance of books on this subject matter As such I am picky with the WWII books I do choose to read A Fire Sparkling is definitely worth the read Gillian is going through tough times and decides to return home for a respite Instead Gill is welcomed with shocking news her grandmother may have been involved with a Nazi during the war Under the impression that their family is from England Gill and her father confront Vivian with the photos Vivian Gibbons thus begins to tell a story that she has kept a secret since she arrived to America after the war Its one of pain sorrow and survival For the first third of the boook this read like a standard WWII narrative From that point on though MacLean added details that made it stand out Granted a few elements were predictable but as a whole this book has a good prose good characterization and a heartfelt story I enjoyed the way in which the narrative progressed and the pace was on point While there is limited room to be surprised with a narrative like this one there were reveals that actually did manage to surprise me All and all this is a well rendered story of a woman that refused to give up and had to make tough choices to survive Audiobook narrated by Rosalyn Landor and Sarah Zimmermanthe best 199 Audible blind faith choice This was my first Julianne MacLean novel a Canadian authorI liked it allthe story the writing the voice narrator In the pastVivian Hughes was a young woman during WWIIin London during the Blitz She was married to a British official when German bombs started dropping Present dayGillian Gibbons Vivian’s granddaughter discovered heartbreaking news by the man she was in love with A duel timeline story taking place in London Europe the resistant movement in occupied Europe and present day America With outstanding atmosphereit feels like we are thrown into wartime drama The story is eually portrayed during present day I was completely engaged with both of these timeline stories and the way they merged together History love loss tragedy lies fears horrors sacrifice assumptions thwarted expectations tears pain intimacy motherhood long buried secrets past and presentbravery forgiveness with likable charactersA very engaging novelPerfect listening companion I thoroughly enjoyed it DNF made it until 250 pages in but couldn’t take the characters any and the old fashioned language was insufferable

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