The Book of Fires by Jane Borodale
I'm participating in the Take Another Chance Challenge. This fun and clever reading challenge is hosted by Jenners over at Find Your Next Book Here. She has, once again, come up with 12 unique challenges. You can choose your own level of participation and the challenge runs through the entire year. This is a very low-pressure challenge and a cool way to find some great reads that you might not otherwise have ever thought to check out.
This is my entry for Challenge #5 Title Word Count- here are the rules of this challenge:
Go to Random.org and, using the True Random Number Generator, enter the numbers 1 for the min. and 5 for the max. and then hit generate. Find a book to read that has that number of words in the title. Read the book and write about it.
Example: If you get 1 for your number, read a book that has a one word title. If you get 2, read a book that has a two word title and so on and so forth.
I got 4 so I chose The Book of Fires
Seventeen year-old Agnes Trussel lives in rural Sussex, England with her family. It's winter 1752 and times are difficult - everyone works hard, but there are just too many mouths to feed and never enough food or money. When Agnes becomes pregnant out of wedlock, she is filled with fear and shame. She decides that she cannot bear for her family to know of her disgrace and she runs away to London. Upon arriving in the dirty, bustling city, Agnes is scared and alone. She meets a fireworks maker named Mr. J. Blacklock. He is a strange and moody man, but, he offers Agnes employment as his apprentice. She readily accepts his job offer and moves into his home/workshop, all the while, concealing her pregnancy from everyone. As time passes, Agnes discovers that she has quite the penchant for the science of fireworks. She quickly learns the skills needed to make rockets, portfires, and fiery rain fireworks. She and Mr. Blacklock maintain a peculiar relationship with little interaction except for the necessary shop-talk. But, they come to realize that they both share a passion for creating spectacular fireworks.
It becomes harder and harder for Agnes to continue concealing her secret. She lives in dread and fear of what will happen once her pregnancy is revealed. She soon meets Cornelius Soul, who sells gunpowder to Mr. Blacklock. When Cornelius begins to flirt and show an interest in Agnes, she considers a plan that may save her from her situation. But, as she gets closer to Cornelius, why does Mr. Blacklock seem to harbor such disapproval and resentment of their relationship? As the firework making continues, Mr. Blacklock becomes more and more reclusive. Agnes feels that he is working on something very important. She does not understand why he is acting so secretively. Little does she know that he has been watching her and is working on a plan of his own. Summer arrives and with it comes some very shocking twists to this story. Agnes finds that her future is going to turn out a little differently than she expected.
I loved this book! Historic fiction of this nature is my favorite genre and this story had me hooked from page one. Agnes was an innocent, desperate character who showed bravery and determination. The fact that this story revolved around the science of fireworks was very unique and made it even more interesting. The ending was totally unexpected but really beautiful. I love when a story surprises me and this one did.
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