- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
It was a town that could have inspired The Music Man -- filled with shops, clapboard buildings, trains, and horse-drawn carriages. Young children spent their days eating freshly churned ice cream and drinking root beer, while their older siblings spent their evenings at parties, flirting and square-dancing. But Hinckley, Minnesota, would become famous for a far more terrible reason. It was the site of a massive firestorm at the tail end of the 19th century that killed more than 400 people -- a firestorm so powerful that it continues to influence current forestry and fire-management practices today.
As Brown deftly describes it, the denizens of Hinckley, a lumber-mill town known for its white pine, were having an unusually hot summer, with a record-low rainfall. But without a modern-day understanding of the science behind fires, they had no idea of the danger brewing. So when the massive conflagration sped into town -- leapfrogging to new locations, setting off explosions, and combing with new flare-ups -- the only question was, who would make it out alive?
Readers who enjoyed the recent Discover pick The Children's Blizzard will find Under a Flaming Sky an impressive and richly rewarding read. The descendant of a Hinckley resident, Brown uses first-person narratives, authoritative interviews, and historical documents to piece together an arresting real-life thriller with critical implications for the present. (Summer 2006 Selection)