*I was given a copy of Wild Fires in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to HarperCollins and Sophie Jai*
The only things Cassandra knows about her family are the stories she’s heard in snatches over the years: about the aunt and cousin she never got to meet, about the man from the folded-up photograph in one of her aunt’s drawers, and of course about her cousin Chevy, and why he never speaks – but no-one utters a word about them any more.
When a call from one of her sisters brings Cassandra news of Chevy’s death, she has to return home for the funeral. To Toronto and the big house on Florence Street, where her sisters are hiding more than themselves in their rooms, where the tension brewing between her mother and aunts has been decades in the making, and where sooner or later every secret, unspoken word and painful memory will find its way out into the open.
Moving between Toronto and Trinidad, Wild Fires is a vivid and compelling story exploring the ways we mourn and why we avoid the very things that can save us.
From the get-go, Wild Fires was super confusing. The opening to the book reads as if you should already know the characters and starting off by talking about someone called Onions was a little strange. Not that there’s anything wrong with being called Onions, but it really did confuse me. This Onions character was talking about someone called Chevy which doesn’t seem as unusual and the names are explained a little further on, but what a way to start a book.
During the first few chapters, I had to keep checking that this wasn’t part of a series as I felt like I was missing something. It isn’t, this is actually Sophie Jai’s debut and I’m sad to say that I won’t be checking out any of her further releases.
General fiction is not a genre I read often and every time I pick one up I realise why. I tend to find them boring and I feel really bad saying that is what happened here. I got 35% into the book before finally packing it up, this was a ‘did not finish for me. Not sure if I was missing something, but honestly nothing happened in the entirety of this 35% and it took me a very long time to get to that point. Absolutely no disrespect to Sophie Jai, but the writing style just was not for me.
The pacing of Wild Fires was very off for me. The chapters often moved between past and present and it was difficult to tell what was happening when. Constantly calling back to the past meant that there was little to no story progression in the 35% I read. I really wanted to get to 50% to give Wild Fires a fair chance, but I just could not make it.
Genuinely, I have little to no actual opinions on this and I don’t feel like I can as nothing happened in the bit I did read. Due to not finishing the book and finding the pacing very slow, I will be rating Wild Fires one star. If you are into general fiction then you may like Wild Fires so please do not let my review put you off.
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