31 March 2015

Today's Read: A Fireproof Home for the Bride by Amy Scheibe

A Fireproof Home for the Bride by Amy ScheibeWhat if you unquestioningly accepted the fact that you were to marry the young farmer you've known all your life . . . until he shows you a dark side of himself you didn't expect. Would you go through with the marriage, set your eyes on someone else, or try to go it alone? In the late 1950s, Emmaline Nelson weighs her choices and their consequences as she tries to envision her future.

The day after her eighteenth birthday, Emmaline Nelson sat with her spine hovering a good two inches away from the straight, cold back of an oaken pew, her feet planted next to each other on the pine floor, knees pressed together as she'd been taught. Her wool serge skirt should have been cozy, but the nylon slip her mother had insisted she wear crackled like electric ice against her dark stockings from its contact with the charged January air. Her coat hung cold and useless out in the makeshift foyer, where her mother had made her leave it, even though the inside of the church was not much warmer than the air outdoors.
A Fireproof Home for the Bride by Amy Scheibe (St. Martin's Press, 2015, p. 9 [Chapter 1 opener])

Quick Facts
  • Setting: Minnesota & North Dakota, late 1950s
  • Circumstances: Emmy grows up in a loveless home and is destined to marry an older local farmer, who is far from sweet & gentle. Calling on her inner strength, she breaks the engagement, leaves her rural home town, and moves in with an estranged aunt to work at a Fargo newspaper. While starting her new life, Emmy not only uncovers some ugly family secrets but is exposed to new ideas and different ways to live.
  • Characters: Emmy and her family; Ambrose, her finance; Bobby an ambitious Catholic boy; various teachers, friends, and colleagues
  • Genre and audience: coming-of-age, historical fiction; new adult
  • Themes: family; love; small town vs. small city; faith; race and gender issues; independence; tolerance
  • Why I want to read this: Although some reviewers noted that Scheibe attempts to address a lot of issues in one story, all agreed that this is a winner of a novel. Emmy is easy to care about, the period details are excellent, and the issues are thought provoking.
  • Extras: Scheibe grew up in the area in which she sets her novel, adding authenticity to the story. A reading guide is available at the Macmillan/St. Martin's website. For excellent television interview with Scheibe (North Dakota edition of The Today Show), click here.


Karen and Gerard 3/31/15, 6:39 AM  

This sounds like one I might like; adding it to my TBR list.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 3/31/15, 6:41 AM  

I read this, and thought it was just ok. Hope you like it better.

Juli Rahel 3/31/15, 7:54 AM  

I sort of like this beginning. It is very descriptive and you definitely get an idea of her personality! I also have no idea what I would do in her situation! Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great week!
My Tuesday post
Juli @ Universe in Words

Unknown 3/31/15, 8:02 AM  

This one sounds intriguing.

Mine this week is a historical fiction set in Biblical times: http://pdworkman.com/excerpt-from-the-centurions-wife/

Unknown 3/31/15, 8:28 AM  

I like Emma already. She doesn't bend to her her parents will and what the times say she should do and braves an unknown, scary future. I'd like to know what happens to her.

My TT - http://fuonlyknew.com/2015/03/31/teaser-tuesdays-108-a-fright-to-the-death-by-dawn-eastman/

bermudaonion 3/31/15, 8:49 AM  

Oh, that sounds good! I know what I would do today but back in the 50s, I'm not so sure.

Unknown 3/31/15, 9:45 AM  

Sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing. Here is my TT: http://www.readinggrrl.com/2015/03/teaser-tuesday_31.html

Kay 3/31/15, 10:21 AM  

After reading the opener, my thoughts were: glad I don't have to wear nylon slips anymore or stockings or wool skirts. And I was cold. LOL

Laurel-Rain Snow 3/31/15, 10:54 AM  

I loved this one! A stunning story that resonated with me for the time period and for some of the experiences the MC went through.

Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

JaneGS 3/31/15, 12:12 PM  

I admire the description--great sense of place, and quick insights into the main character.

Margot 3/31/15, 12:18 PM  

Great first paragraph. The detailed description of the girl really appeals to me, I'd keep reading.

Heather 3/31/15, 12:27 PM  

Not sure I would read this one, but hope you enjoy it. Mine: Accused by Lisa Scottoline

Suzie Quint 3/31/15, 12:33 PM  

It's an interesting situation. I'll have to look into this one.

Tea 3/31/15, 12:38 PM  

Doesn't seem like a welcoming church.

Sarah's Book Shelves 3/31/15, 12:57 PM  

I'd keep reading - the premise sounds interesting and I like the title!

Sandra Nachlinger 3/31/15, 1:25 PM  

I'm already interested in Emmaline. With her dependence on her mother, it would be scary to strike out on her own. I'm curious about whether she decides to go ahead with her marriage to the farmer or takes a chance on a different path. Sounds like a story I'd enjoy.
Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.

Monica's Bookish Life 3/31/15, 1:45 PM  

I'd keep reading. This story sounds compelling. I like stories set in the 1950s, too.

Unknown 3/31/15, 2:03 PM  

I love character arc's that go through a lot of suffering and trials, only to see them rise above their despair; this one sounds like one. Thanks for sharing! :)

Literary Feline 3/31/15, 2:29 PM  

Emmy sounds like quite a strong woman given all she has to go through. You've gotten me curious about this one. I will have to look for it.

JoAnn 3/31/15, 2:44 PM  

This sounds promising... will be curious to hear what you think.

Anonymous,  3/31/15, 3:09 PM  

Sounds really good.

Cleopatra Loves Books 3/31/15, 3:36 PM  

I do like the sound of this one, that piece about the clothes she is wearing to church is so evocative. Great choice. Thanks for visiting my Tuesday post https://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/first-chapter-first-paragraph-march-31/

Katherine P 3/31/15, 4:55 PM  

The blurb didn't really grab me but I loved your review and what you said especially about her finding her new life and discovering secrets. Another one for the TBR!

Daryl 4/3/15, 2:07 PM  

not my usual cuppa but worth putting on the TBR list ... thanks!

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