DiscoverHistorical Fiction

A Different Kind of Fire

By

Worth reading 😎

Breaking into the art world as a woman in the 1890s requires all kinds of skills, not just artistic ones.

What I enjoyed about the book was the tight woven plot and the well-developed characters in this novel. Ruby's story stays with you, probably because the story was set in the 19th century, yet much of what we read is still happening today. Not much has changed in 100 years.


The author takes the time to really develop the characters. The depth and accuracy of the artist life is apparent throughout the book. The author captured the soul of a true artist, where time and life slip by without the artist awareness. Ruby is a complex character. She is bound by her time, but the author cleverly shows us how many of her choices are similar to what women are facing now. Ruby learns that the more she learns about technique, the more she has to learn. That keeps her in Philadelphia, at art school. That decision defines her life in many ways.


There is much to explore in this book: art, history, social injustice, feminism, prejudice and romance. All the required elements for a good romance novel are here and the author uses those elements to make us think of how far we have come, even if we do still have a long way to go.


As a true lover of historical fiction, it is imperative that the author treats the setting with the respect it deserves. Schafer does just that, with the wildness of the ranch in Texas, and the bustling city life of Philadelphia. The book spans several decades and manages to tie them together neatly, preserving the historical aspect nicely.


While the book wasn't a page turner, it was a deeply moving book that required the reader to think and ponder. It is such a book that one should really read, as it will change your perspective and the way you think about history.




Reviewed by

I am the woman my friends (and others!) come to find good books to read. I am interested in all types of books. I don't shy away from genres I am not used to reading, I try all kinds of books. I don't operate from a deficit model, instead, I look for what works in the stories I read.

Chapter One Acceptance

About the author

Suanne completed the Stanford University Creative Writing Certificate program. Her debut women’s fiction novel, A Different Kind of Fire, explores the life of a nineteenth century bisexual artist living in West Texas. Her next book involves an American physician caught up in the Rwandan genocide. view profile

Published on November 01, 2018

Published by Waldorf

100000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Historical Fiction

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