Praise for Other Fires: A Novel
Review from journalist, Jay Stafford with The Free Lance Star
“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” —Leo Tolstoy
With perception and eloquence, Lenore H. Gay expands on Tolstoy’s axiom in her second novel, “Other Fires.”
Joss and Phil Montgomery seem to have a good life. She’s a scholar and writer, he’s a professor, and they have two daughters, preteen Terpe and infant Geline.
But their marriage is precarious. And after Joss exiles Phil, a serial adulterer, from their bedroom, tragedy strikes when their house catches fire.
Joss and the girls escape relatively unhurt. But Phil suffers burns, a broken bone and a traumatic brain injury that leaves him with Capgras Syndrome, an affliction that causes him to believe that Joss is an imposter who merely resembles his wife
A long stint in a hospital and a rehabilitation center keeps him from home as Joss tries to meet a book deadline while taking care of her daughters.
Enter Adam Werther, an electrician with a drinking problem, bitter memories of his abusive father and recurring dreams of a remote island. Joss hires him to help with house repairs, and it’s not long before the two begin a sexual relationship.
Meanwhile, Terpe—nearly friendless—skips school to visit Phil at the rehab center, only to find him kissing his latest paramour.
Gay, a Richmonder and a retired licensed professional counselor, operated a private counseling practice for 10 years and later served as the coordinator of the internship program at the Rehabilitation Counseling Department at Virginia Commonwealth University.
As she did in her début novel, 2016’s “Shelter of Leaves,” she draws on her experience to enrich “Other Fires.” Through the voices of Joss, Phil, Terpe and Adam, she simultaneously narrates this grim but ultimately hopeful story while also creating a small but memorable cast of characters.
With objectivity tempered by compassion, Gay demonstrates how the damage inflicted by imperfect parents can resonate in adulthood—but can also let light shine through cracks in the psyche.
Those who grew up in dysfunctional families might well emerge from “Other Fires” with an enhanced perspective and a greater capacity for forgiveness.
“Once again, Lenore Gay has woven a story that captivates the reader from page one. Other Fires is a brilliant study of tragedy on multiples levels. Beginning with a dysfunctional family struggling in the aftermath of a terrible fire, she expertly peels back the layers of human behavior and motivation that unravels the lives of the guilty and innocent. Peppered with surprising twists and turns, the story will stay with you long after you close the cover.”
—PAM WEBBER, author of The Wiregrass and Moon Water
“Heartwarming and dramatic, the two major intertwining stories in Other Fires reach across decades from troubled childhood to mid-life adults and reaffirm what remains human and vulnerable in all of us. The portraits of the main characters arc from hopelessness to vulnerability and a sense of recovery. Gay holds the reader’s attention from the first page.”
—DIANA Y. PAUL, author of Things Unsaid
“How do people figure out their minds? This novel explores what constitutes reality, and from whose perspective. Drawing on her varied experiences in life and background in rehabilitation and mental health counseling, Lenore Gay weaves together the perspectives of compelling characters who interact in ways that keep the pages of this novel turning.”
—CHRIS REID, PhD, Statistical Psychology
Other Fires: A Novel by Lenore H. Gay –
Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Oct 20 Kickoff & Excerpt
Lu Ann Rockin’ Book Reviews Oct 21 Excerpt
Dee Donadees Corner Oct 22 Review
Denise Goodreads Oct 23 Review
Betty Toots Book Reviews Oct 26 Review I
Dan Goodreads Oct 29 Review
Donna Amazon Oct 30 Review
Diane Book Meets Girl Nov 2 Review
Angel Amazon Nov 5 Review
Brianna abookandalattee Nov 6 Review (Postponed)
Linda eBook Addicts Nov 9 Guest Review & Excerpt
Penny Amazon Nov 10 Review
Amy Locks, Hooks and Books Nov 11 Review
Kathy Ordinary Girls Book Reviews Nov 12 Review
Kathy Ordinary Girls Book Reviews Nov 12 Excerpt
Bookgirl StoreyBook Reviews Nov 13 Guest Review & Excerpt
Becky Amazon Nov 18 Review
Mindy Room Without Books is Empty Nov 20 Review
Lisa’s Writopia Nov 23 Review
Lisa’s Writopia Nov 25 Interview
Coming October 2020