The Book of Fires

By Jane Borodale
(Pamela Dorman Books, Hardcover, 9780670021062, 368pp.)

Publication Date: January 21, 2010

List Price: $26.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the February 2010 Indie Next List
“Unwed and pregnant in 1752, but with a fertile imagination and a bit of luck, Agnes Trussel flees from Sussex to London, where she finds work as an assistant to a fireworks maker. In this unusual trade, Agnes blossoms, becoming adept and indispensable to her master. The Book of Fires is a vividly told story that animates the 18th century.”
-- Jennie Turner-Collins, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH


Description

Reminiscent of Year of Wonders, a captivating debut novel of fireworks, fortune, and a young woman's redemption

It is 1752 and seventeen-year-old Agnes Trussel arrives in London pregnant with an unwanted child. Lost and frightened, she finds herself at the home of Mr. J. Blacklock, a brooding fireworks maker who hires Agnes as an apprentice. As she learns to make rockets, portfires, and fiery rain, she slowly gains his trust and joins his quest to make the most spectacular fireworks the world has ever seen.

Jane Borodale offers a masterful portrayal of a relationship as mysterious and tempestuous as any the Brontës conceived. Her portrait of 1750s London is unforgettable, from the grimy streets to the inner workings of a household where little is as it seems. Through it all, the clock is ticking, for Agnes's secret will not stay secret forever.

Deeply atmospheric and intimately told from Agnes's perspective, The Book of Fires will appeal to readers of Geraldine Brooks, Sarah Waters, Sheri Holman, and Michel Faber.

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