A Fire Sparkling

A Fire Sparkling

by Julianne MacLean


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An Amazon Charts and Washington Post bestseller.

From the USA Today bestselling author of A Curve in the Road comes a spellbinding novel about one woman’s love, loss, and courage during wartime.

After a crushing betrayal by the man she loves, Gillian Gibbons flees to her family home for a much-needed escape, but when she finds an old photograph of her grandmother in the arms of a Nazi officer, Gillian’s life gets even more complicated. Rattled by the discovery, Gillian attempts to unravel the truth behind the photos, setting her off on an epic journey through the past…

1939. England is on the brink of war as Vivian Hughes falls in love with a handsome British official, but when bombs begin to fall and Vivian’s happy life is destroyed in the blitz, she will do whatever it takes to protect those she loves…

As Gillian learns more about her grandmother’s past, the old photo begins to make more sense. But for every question answered, a new one takes its place. Faced with a truth that is not at all what she expected, Gillian attempts to shine a light not only on the mysteries of her family’s past but also on her own future.

This gorgeously written multigenerational saga is a heart-wrenching yet hopeful examination of one woman’s struggle to survive, perfect for fans of The Nightingale and Beneath a Scarlet Sky.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781542092807
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 08/01/2019
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 26,907
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Julianne MacLean is a USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the bestselling contemporary women’s fiction novel The Color of Heaven. She has sold more than 1.3 million books in North America alone, and her novels have been translated into many foreign languages. MacLean is a four-time RITA finalist with Romance Writers of America and has won numerous awards, including the Booksellers’ Best Award and the Book Buyers Best Award. She loves to travel and has lived on the west coast of New Zealand, in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, and in London, England. She currently resides on the east coast of Canada in a lakeside home with her husband and daughter. She is a dedicated member of Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada.

For more information about MacLean, please visit the author’s official website at www.juliannemaclean.com and sign up for her newsletter. You can also follow her on Amazon and BookBub to stay informed about this book and future releases.

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A Fire Sparkling 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
LlamaJen 1 days ago
Loved it!!! So many secrets. Vivian's story was my favorite part of the book. She lived a very interesting life. She had her share of tragedy. I definitely wanted to find out about the pictures Gillian and her father found hidden in the secret compartment of the chest. I loved the characters, story and writing style. I was not expecting the ending. There are many twists throughout the book. Was everything believable? No, but I still loved the story. Definitely recommend the book. It was beautifully written. The book was historical fiction mixed with mystery, drama and a little romance. Loved the cover of the book. I look forward to reading more books by the author. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Lake Union Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Ksiddall 24 days ago
Wonderful story with great characters and all the emotions! When Gillian Gibbons discovers the man she loves and lives with is cheating on her, she retreats to the Connecticut farmhouse her father and 96-year-old grandmother share. She hasn’t seen her father in over five years and their reunion is somewhat awkward at first but her father is desperately glad to hear from her: he’s uncovered a secret in the attic that might change the meaning of his entire life. Gram came to this country with her young son, Edward, after the World War II, as the wife of her second husband, Grampa Jack. Her first husband, Theodore Gibbons, a deputy cabinet minister working with Churchill, had been killed in the Blitz along with her sister, April. After his death, Gram and Edward had gone to the country to stay with Theodore’s aristocratic family on their estate. But while doing her part in the war effort, Vivian had met and fallen in love with the American flyer, Jack Cooper, and after the war ended had married him and lived in the farmhouse since then. Or at least that is what Edward and Gillian had always believed. While Edward was in the attic inspecting the roof, he’d come across his mother’s antique sea chest. The old chest was a familiar item; Gillian had always called it a “treasure chest.”) But, as Edward had examined it, he’d discovered a secret drawer inside with pictures of his mother and a German Nazi officer in Berlin dated only months after her marriage to Theodore. The photos made it clear that the two were very much in love. With so many questions and concerned that he was the son of a Nazi war criminal, he and Gillian decide to talk to Vivian and get some answers. The story is Gram’s revelation of what the pictures were and what happened in the war. While her son and granddaughter listen, they gradually come to terms with the real history behind their family as well as the other issues in their lives that were keeping them apart. The retelling is an emotional story with lots of action and history and the things people do for love and country. The author obviously did a lot of research to bring the reader a solid thriller with twists and turns that really held my interest and kept me up reading late into the night. I highly recommend this book to readers of historical fiction.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I received A Fire Sparkling by Julianne MacLean as an ARC from NetGalley. A Fire Sparkling is a historical novel that flips between current day and 1939 and war is starting in Europe. Gillian catches her boyfriend cheating on her at his 50th birthday party and she returns home to her father and grandmother to figure out what she should do about the relationship. Her father tells her about a discovery in made in the attic of her grandmother's house and they learn that her grandmother's past is not what they thought it was. The story goes back in time to 1939 and her grandmother fills them in on her real life story. I really enjoyed this book. It was well written and I enjoyed the characters. I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys historical novels.
Kittylou 4 months ago
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher and author for A free ARC of this book in exchange for a honest review. A Fire Sparkling by Julianne MacLean is not what I expected and yet so so much more than I expected!! Twists and turns that dropped my jaw! I couldn't put the darn book down it was so good! Gillian's story begins with her long time boyfriend breaking her heart, which leads her to head home to her father and grandmother to lick her wounds. A shocking find by her father adds to her confusion, and takes them back to her grandmother Vivian's past during WW2. What the family had though was her story turns out to be a fabrication and with the find from her father, her grandmother is confronted and compelled to explain. What comes out turns out to be a heartbreaking and shocking story of her true life during WWII. The writing was phenomenal! I fell into the pages from the beginning of the story. I loved the complex complete characters. I cared about what happened to them and was involved in their story. I fully recommend this wonderful historical fiction/ romance / suspense! 5 stars! Expected publication: August 1st 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
AmyHi 5 months ago
A modern-day mystery of old pictures of Gillian’s grandmother with a Nazi officer before the war leads to a great story of wartime love, secrets and sacrifices. I really enjoyed this book. It is a real page-turner! I received an ARC for my honest review.
cristieu 5 months ago
There is always that one book that you hear people talking about that you HAVE to read. This is THAT book! The writing made me feel like I was in WWII Europe, as it was so detailed. The strong writing about the unbreakable bonds of family make this a must read! I highly recommend this!
Anonymous 5 months ago
I really enjoyed: A Fire Sparkling by Julianne MacLean and it's a book full of interesting surprises. It's a book with a dual timeline that seamlessly blends the past and with the present. In 2011, Gillian catches her boyfriend cheating, she's very upset, and she's goes to visit her dad. She had no idea that he's just found a mysterious box filled with old photographs of his mother Vivian and she's standing next to a man who's dressed as a Nazi officer? Edward is very confused, he had been told his dad Theodore had died during WW II during the blitz in London, why is his mum standing next to a German soldier and he's now worried this mysterious man might be his father? Vivian is now in her 90's, she begins the story by explaining to her son Edward and her grand daughter Gillian why she's in the photograph, what happened to her in the past and during WW II. Soon your swept way in a dramatic heartfelt tale about lost love, romance, secrets, mystery, and danger that all takes place during the war. I loved A Fire Sparkling, I'm a fan of WW II historical fiction and I gave the book fours stars.
cgarr 6 months ago
Wow! I've enjoyed other books by Julianne MacLean, but this one was even better than the others. I don't always like books that switch between past and present, but this was well done. The book was extremely well written. The storyline set in WWII made me feel like I was seeing what it was like. I could feel the emotions of the characters. I don't want to give any details as the story has a lot of plot twists and has what I consider a perfect ending! I received an advance copy through NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Sandy-thereadingcafe 6 months ago
A FIRE SPARKLING by Julianne MacLean is a story of fiction, of history, of one family’s ties to the past. Told from third person (Vivian), and dual first person (Gillian and April) using present day (2011) and memories from the past (1939-1945) A FIRE SPARKLING focuses on the search for the truth. Gillian Gibbons life was upended when she discovered her boyfriend of several years with another woman on the night of his fiftieth birthday. Hoping to clear her head, Gillian heads home only to be met by her father with a WWII era picture of her beloved grandmother in the arms of a Nazi officer. Gillian and her father struggle to confront Gillian’s ninety-six year old grandmother in an effort to understand what it is they found. What ensues is the retelling, revelations and acceptance of one family’s history, a history that has been turned on its’ head as Gillian’s grandmother reveals the truth about the past. A FIRE SPARKLING follows three generations as past sins are slowly revealed. The mother and grandmother they have come to know is so much more than the frail old woman that now struggles with her life. Vivian Hughes’ life reads like a Hollywood movie script but a script where one woman has lived and died in an effort to save the people she loves. From London, England, Bordeaux France, then to the USA, the Hughes/ Cooper/ Gibbons family history is awash in secrets, lies, betrayal and love. The world building pulls the reader into two vastly different timelines: 2011, and WWII beginning in 1939 and ending a few days after the Nazi surrender to the Allied forces. A FIRE SPARKLING is a tale of love wrapped in an historical account of one woman’s adventures, struggles, and loss during the war to end all wars. We are witness to the devastation of London before and after the day known as Black Saturday; the blackouts and rationing; the loss of lives and loves; betrayal and hate. Friendships forged but not forgotten reveal more to the story than everyone knew. A FIRE SPARKLING is an emotional story of conflict and war; of betrayal, family, acceptance and love. A character driven story set to the backdrop of WWII wherein history is rewritten by one family’s secrets, and lies perpetuated by desperation and love.
Texas109 6 months ago
A Fire Sparkling will leave you breathless...it is that good! I am not going to rehash the synopsis because I don’t want to inadvertently give any spoilers. Julianne MacLean has written a story that spans WWII years with lessons that carry into the present for the families of those who lived, those who died and those who loved. She paints a poignant picture of life as Britain is drawn into war with Germany. She writes about the bond between sisters and the bond between friends. She writes about bravery in the face of evil and the effects of secrets that finally come to light. This is a book that should not be missed! I voluntarily reviewed an advance copy of this book. Most highly recommend.
CindyLovesBooksdotcom 6 months ago
A Fire Sparkling by Julianne Maclean is a story within a story: It begins with 35 year old Gillian fleeing to her grandmothers home in Connecticut after finding her boyfriend cheating. Upon arrival she finds her father having stumbled upon life changing photos - could the nazi soldier in the picture really be his father? Nothing to do but pin down her 96 yr old grandmother and gently demand the truth. The story that unfolds, that of two sisters surviving WWII London, is nothing she could have ever expected. I have to admit some of the story line was predictable, but there were still enough unexpected twists and turned to keep me engaged, turning page after page to learn what happens next. There is also a definite 'romance' theme throughout the book, but as someone who typically avoids standard romance novels, I found this pertinent to the story and not so heavy it turned me off. I began reading this book expecting what had become the typical WWII novel, but was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed this story and recommend for anyone looking for a WWII novel with a slightly different point of view.
JuliaAD 6 months ago
I loved this story! The characters were great. I didn't like April at first, but by the end of the story, I knew she was a heroine. What a life she lived. Gillian learned a lot from her grandmother's life and came out better for it. I can understand why she went to research her grandmother's past and to discover things about her family. Wow!
Robindpdx 6 months ago
I enjoyed this well-written book. Gillian goes to her family home when she catches her boyfriend in a lie. She discovers photographs from her grandmother's past that starts her on a journey to discover more about her grandmother's life. The more she discovers, the more mysteries she finds. This multigenerational story brings aspects of World War II to life, along with Gillian's emotions and her grandmother's journey. This was an entertaining book and I look forward to reading more books by this author.
lauriesophee 6 months ago
If you like historical fiction, mystery, suspense and family drama, you will want to read "A Fire Sparkling"! This novel put me in the throes of World War II with Vivian, a young woman with many secrets. I could not stop reading until the skeletons were out of the closet. It kept me in suspense all the way until the very end of this book. Told in the present and then back to 1939, this is one amazing journey. It is like nothing I have read. The transition from timelines is so smooth, and the story so well plotted; that it makes for a wonderful, detailed, story of love, anger, endurance and hope. Truly 10 stars!
Monnie777 6 months ago
What an emotional roller coaster this book is. Anytime you have a story about WWII a lot of emotions will be added to the story. I never saw all the secrets that came out coming. When you think you know everything, you don't. I really enjoyed how we started in 2011 and then went back to hear the grandmother's time during the war. What a life the grandmother had, wow. I really did enjoy this story. *I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley/author and am voluntarily leaving a review.*