The unhappy wife of a fireman in 1970 realizes too late that her independence comes at a high price in Riggs's often heavy-handed novel. Early pregnancy forced Cassie Johnson into a marriage and a life she wasn't sure she wanted. Her husband Peck's job as their small South Carolina town's fire chief prevents him from giving her the attention she craves. Cassie finds solace in the arms of another fireman, Clay Taylor, and leaves town with him, determined to start over, but when she realizes she's just repeating her mistakes, she flees to her mother in the mountains for some soul searching. Soon she realizes the unexpected and tragic consequences of her actions. Riggs's 1970s South bears little resemblance to the South of social turmoil, and he overuses tired metaphors of rain, drought and oppressive humidity. But despite Cassie's lack of complexity, Riggs captures her internal life well and gives her conflicts legitimacy and gravitas. (Jan.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Fireman's Wife: A Novelby Jack Riggs
It’s June 1970. As the low country of South Carolina burns in a seven-month drought, Cassie Johnson longs for escape: both from her husband, Peck, the town’s newly promoted fire chief, who seems more interested in saving everyone else’s life than in living his own, and from the low country marshes where Cassie has never quite felt at home. But as… See more details below
It’s June 1970. As the low country of South Carolina burns in a seven-month drought, Cassie Johnson longs for escape: both from her husband, Peck, the town’s newly promoted fire chief, who seems more interested in saving everyone else’s life than in living his own, and from the low country marshes where Cassie has never quite felt at home. But as Peck and Cassie drift apart, their teenage daughter, Kelly, finds herself torn between her parents and her desperate need for normalcy. It will take a tumultuous journey back to the North Carolina mountains before Cassie can begin to understand the complicated love that resides, unrecognized, deep in her heart.
From a masterly voice in Southern fiction, The Fireman’s Wife is an emotionally bare and moving novel about one woman’s struggle to do what’s right–for her family, for her love, and for herself.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
—Cassandra King, author of The Sunday Wife
“Jack Riggs’ The Fireman’s Wife is the kind of book that reminds you of the reason you love reading – a story wonderfully told, with memorable characters and tense and tender moments. Written in the first person voices of Cassie and Peck, it examines the fragility of a woman caught between her history and her uncertainty – a story that suggests a smattering of experiences we’ve all had in one fashion or another. Riggs is an accomplished story-teller and a splendid writer and The Fireman’s Wife is a book you will happily share with reader-friends.”
—Terry Kay, author of The Valley of Light
“Jack Riggs has written an honest, brave, riveting, and heartbreaking novel about relationships, loyalties, betrayals, and transcendence. The Fireman’s Wife is a great book, full of heart and, ultimately, hope. You will not want to put it down.
—Connie May Fowler, author of The Problem with Murmur Lee and Before Women had Wings
“The Fireman’s Wife is a compelling portrait of an unraveling marriage. Jack Riggs' empathy for his characters, coupled with a refusal to judge them, gives the novel an integrity that makes this story all the more memorable.”
—Ron Rash, author of Serena
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