The Book of Fires (Paperback)

By Jane Borodale

Penguin Books, 9780143118480, 368pp.

Publication Date: December 28, 2010

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
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-A spectacular debut- (Booklist) reminiscent of Geraldine Brook's Year of Wonders.
It is 1752, and seventeen-year-old Agnes Trussel is pregnant with an unwanted child. Facing certain misery at home, she flees rural Sussex for London. Overwhelmed by the crowded, grim streets, Agnes finds herself at the home of Mr. J. Blacklock, a brooding fireworks maker who hires her as an apprentice. As she learns to make joins his quest to make the most spectacular fireworks the world has ever seen. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on Agnes's secret-but her mysterious mentor is hatching plans of his own.