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The Book of Fire

"Blazing with a family’s impulse to survive and rise from the ashes of destruction, this audio edition of a remarkable Greece-set novel is intimate, epic, and exhilaratingly absorbing."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

If you loved Christy Lefteri’s The Beekeeper of Aleppo, The Book of Fire will surely also have you in its thrall, and this audio edition comes recommended as a wonderful way to further enhance your enjoyment of the writer’s story-telling verve.

Alix Dunmore’s narration does immersive justice to an enthralling novel that sees a family forced to redefine, and rebuild, a sense of home and hope in the wake of a cataclysmic fire. The audio edition also features music that was especially composed for this audio edition. Haunting and evocative, it’s played on a traditional Greek bouzouki — an instrument that’s of significance to the novel’s characters.

The story opens with an assertion of the importance of community (the ancient Greek polis), and mention of an outsider who wasn’t much-liked in the village even before he started a catastrophic fire. Then we meet musician Irini, her husband Tasso, who paints the surrounding ancient forest, and their daughter Chara. 

So far, so blissful, until a wild fire engulfs the forest and village, forcing families to flee, resulting in devastating loss and deep scarring. When Irini discovers the body of the man who started the fire, she makes a decision that will haunt her through the years, while her husband is haunted by the loss of his father.

I was utterly swept up by the story, the rich language, the drama, and the dynamics of an unforgettable Greek family who have much to mourn, much to recover from, and, as things turn out, many reasons to love and renew themselves. Then there’s the contextual themes of greed, humankind’s destructive impulses, the bonds that bind us, kindness and love, here conveyed aurally in compelling style.

Joanne Owen

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