This is the second book I've read by Nicholas Evans and I enjoyed both. He writes with passion and breathes life into not only his characters but the environment in which they live. The setting is as much a character as the people. Through use of rich vocabulary, combined with metaphors, similes, he evokes scenes sometimes beautiful, sometimes tragic. The story is compelling and takes you on a journey through the lives of three people. He easily switches back and forth between them, weaving in their backstory while revealing bits and pieces of who each of them are. The story unfolds slowly, but holds your interest as you become attached to each of them and begin to care about their outcome.
Essentially, this is a love story that evolves over many years simmering like the fires the smoke jumpers are faced with. It is also a story of friendship and loyalty. Each character is unique, and not just a caricature. Ed, the musician, looking to make it big in the world of New York city musicals, Julia, the teacher who works with troubled teens, and Connor the photographer. Ed and Connor, both outdoors men, both adventurous, meet while training to become smoke jumpers and a great friendship ensues. Then there is Skye, the troubled teen, part Native American, who plays a crucial role in the first and second part of the book.
The characters journey's take you from New York, to Montana, to Africa and beyond, through war troubled third world countries and into the heart of a smoke jumpers life, to a quest into the woods with a group of troubled teens and into the heart of war correspondent. This book has a little bit of everything and it keeps it coming for all 560 pages. Thanks Nicholas for a great ride.
Great love/action story. Great descriptions of Montana, the reader feels like you're there with the characters.
My Amazon review - This book took my breath away - literally. I found myself on the edge of my seat and holding my breath so many times while reading this wonderful book that I would have to set it aside, calm down, and return to it later. I can't remember the last book that made me care so much about the characters, to the point that the tension became almost unbearable. If you like Evans' first two novels I think you will like this one, too, but be prepared for a much edgier story and more nail-biting action. If you have never read Evans before, this is one of his best so it's a great place to start.
This book was SO wonderful. I laughed, I cried, and my heart ached for these characters. I've read it three times, and the only reason I am getting rid of it is bc there is no more room on the bookshelves!
I love this story. Many times I was crying so much I had to put it down for a few minutes. It was very moving. One of my all time favorites.