Into The Fire - Sonia Orchard 5/5 stars



       I received a copy of Into The Fire from Netgalley

     When I first started reading Into The Fire I wasn't sure if I'd like it. It seems like a pretty straightforward story but like life, there are quite a few twists in turns along the way that happens when people grow and change. It's about friendship, and how we all change as we grow older. No one stays the same and what's interesting about the book is how realistic the characters are. They're selfish and have their own motivations as they age. We can see Lara and Alice drift apart and sadly that happens a lot in real life. The book hinges on these characters, how they interact with each other. There's no action here so it's the characters who have to carry the weight of the novel.

       Orchard is a talented writer who is able to pull us into the story and allows us to feel as if we're not simply reading a novel, but experiencing it along with Lara. We see just how selfish she is, even resentful at Alice for settling down. It's the feeling of betrayal that winds its way through the book and makes you examine your own life a little. The ending itself is even a shock because Orchard subtly takes a left turn and you never see it coming. You begin to think that Alice is really mentally ill, but is she? Was she the cause of the fire that took her life? Into the Fire is a compulsive read that examines two lives but it's never boring despite the lack of action. We see these characters drift apart and make their own decisions and they aren't always the best decisions. I like a great story. I like characters who are realistic and flawed. Here there are plenty of flawed, selfish characters, and they know they are, but it's just how they are. They can't change who they are.

         Into The Fire is the kind of book you read for the characters. It's a slow-moving novel without a lot of action or big revelations. The ending is the most jarring aspect of the book and you never see it coming. It's a book that you become absorbed in and you soon find yourself unable to stop reading.

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