[Book Talk] Smoke by Catherine McKenzie

smokeBook Details:

Format: Ebook
Source: Publisher
Read: September 2016


From the internationally bestselling author Catherine McKenzie comes an evocative tale of two women navigating the secrets and lies at the heart of a wildfire threatening their town.

After a decade-long career combating wildfires, Elizabeth has traded in for a quieter life with her husband. Now she works as the local arson investigator in a beautiful, quaint town in the Rockies. But that tranquil life vanishes when she and her husband agree to divorce, and when a fire started in nearby Cooper Basin begins to spread rapidly. For Elizabeth, containing a raging wildfire is easier than accepting that her marriage has failed.

For Elizabeth’s ex-friend Mindy, who feels disconnected from her husband and teenage children, the fire represents a chance to find a new purpose: helping a man who lost his home to the blaze. But her faith is shattered by a shocking accusation.

As the encroaching inferno threatens the town’s residents, Elizabeth and Mindy must discover what will be lost in the fire, and what will be saved.

My Thoughts

Thank you to Ambur (!) at Thomas Allen & Sons for the review copy of this book! 

I haven’t read anything by Catherine McKenzie for so long that when I started reading this book I remembered why I loved her. Not only is she Canadian, but she is a great writer. Her newer books have less of a chick lit feel and more of a contemporary feel to them and this one resonated with me because I’ve actually been in that situation of our home being in danger of being consumed by fire. So as I read, I could definitely feel the fear of the residents of the town.

But it’s not just about this fire surrounding them, but the people inside the town. I loved all of the characters and felt like they were true to life. I loved Elizabeth and worried for her the entire book. Part of me envied her dangerous job, akin to something like chasing tornadoes, and part of me was very happy that I didn’t have her job. I couldn’t imagine what she was going through with the fire and her marriage troubles, and not only that but being estranged from her best friend. As for her best friend, to be a mom and read about what she was going through was so hard!

Is it weird to say that there was a touch of Canadian-ess to this book? I’m not sure what it is about Canadian authors, but when I read their books, they might mention the fact that we’re in Canada a few times, but then I long to travel across this beautiful country for the entire book. AND whenever I read an amazing Canadian author like Catherine, I want to read ALL Canadian authors. Our country truly is blessed with some amazing writers!

I love how complex Catherine’s books are getting. The situations are real and stressful, the characters are equally likeable and not likeable, and the stories are compelling and page turning. I can’t wait to see what she writes next!


My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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