Thursday, November 14, 2013

Book Beginning: Things We Set on Fire by Deborah Reed

Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader now has a Facebook page. I plan to post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it, or click the button over there in the right hand column.  I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I am trying to follow all Book Beginning participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.



The call came in the middle of the night, and at first Vivvie stood in the dark near her bed, trying to make sense of the hour.

-- Things We Set on Fire by Deborah Reed.

Deborah Reed is the author of the novel, Carry Yourself Back to Me (reviewed here), which followed close on the heels of her sassy thriller, A Small Fortune (reviewed here) published under her pen name, Audry Braun.

Things We Set on Fire is already generating a lot of buzz and some terrific reviews, like this one from Booklist:

In Reed’s engrossing examination of one family’s lifelong meltdown and possible resurrection, Vivien "Vivvie" Fenton’s story begins with a dark implication about the death of her husband 30 years ago in a hunting accident. Vivvie’s two adult daughters, Kate and Elin, have long since flown the coop in desperate efforts to find happiness. When Vivvie receives unexpected word that Kate is in the hospital and that her own two young daughters need someone to come get them, the past and all its wounds threaten to smash everyone’s lives yet again. Elin’s somewhat orderly life on the other side of the country is wildly upset when Vivvie calls her and begs for her help with her two nieces as Kate lingers on the precipice between life and death. The entanglements of a family burdened with dark secrets, personal motives, and an eventual implosion that still rocks each of their lives to the core quickly surface in the face of this new tragedy, propelling the story and its irresistible characters. Suggest this one to fans of Elizabeth Strout. —Julie Trevelyan


  1. Don't we all dread those calls in the night... the news can never be good... What a great opening!

  2. Rose City Reader: please delete item 3 in the linky. It doesn't work. Item 4 is the one to keep :) Thanks. I do like your book choice this week, too!

  3. The premise of this novel sounds really interesting, I love the opening lines!

    My Friday Book Memes

  4. Hi Gilion,

    Why do bad things always happen during the night? You just know that if the phone rings in the middle of the night, it is never going to be with good news.

    The ringing wakes you instantly, but there is always that first few seconds between deep sleep and instant awakening, when you can't think where you are, or what the ringing noise could possibly be!

    This sounds like it is shaping up into an excellent family drama, with all its associated tensions and emotions.

    I hope that you enjoy it and thanks for hosting,


  5. Calls in the middle of the night are usually not good news.

  6. That's an attention grabbing opening line and I like the sound of this book.

  7. I have this one too, but I'm not for sure when I'll get to it. Hope you enjoy reading it!

  8. This sounds really good. The beginning lines definitely pulled me.

    THANKS for sharing.

    Enjoy your weekend.

    BTW…Stop by for a FUN giveaway too: GIVEAWAY

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

  9. I'm intrigued by the opening lines...enjoy!

    Cqtherine @ Book Club Librarian

  10. From your book beginnings and the Booklist review, Things We Set on Fire sounds like a typical torn family, possibly brought back together by tragedy.


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