2 October 2017

New Book Review – Fireburn by Apple Gidley


 New from Amazon UK and Amazon US


Fireburn tells of the horrors of a little-known, bloody period of Caribbean history. Anna weathers personal heartache as she challenges the conventions of the day, the hostility of the predominantly male landowners and survives the worker rebellion of 1878, 
thirty years after Emancipation.


I chose Fireburn as my holiday reading and read it on a perfect Mediterranean beach where the sea is a sparkling azure blue. Set in the Caribbean island of Saint Croix (pronounced Croy), Lady Anna returns to her childhood home to find her ailing father has allowed it to run down. 

The Crucian foreman Sam and cook Emiline view her arrival with mixed feelings and the narrative switches point of view between the four main characters in an ensemble cast. I particularly liked how Anna’s maid, Ivy, describes her own ‘journey’ through increasingly self-aware diary entries.   

At the time of reading Saint Croix had been devastated by hurricane Maria so I was unusually appreciative of how vulnerable these otherwise idyllic islands can be. I found it fascinating to learn something of the history of the Danish community there and Anna’s dual nationality added depth to the narrative. Apple Godley’s love of the island shines through in her evocative and almost poetic descriptions:
Brilliant orange trumpet vines climbed the conical frames reaching from her mother’s terracotta pots. The stairs, once again embracing pieces of coral glistening a bleached white between the limestone
I also enjoyed her use of the Crucian dialect, which added authenticity (and is supported by a short glossary).  This is a book I am happy to recommend and I look forward to reading further books by Apple Gidley in the future.

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About the Author

Apple Gidley is an Anglo-Australian author whose life has been spent absorbing countries and cultures, considers herself a global nomad. She currently divides her time between Houston, Texas and St Croix, in the US Virgin Islands. She has moved 26 times, and has called twelve countries home (Nigeria, England, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Papua New Guinea, The Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, Scotland, USA, Equatorial Guinea), and her experiences are described in her first book, Expat Life Slice by SliceHer roles have been varied - from magazine editor to intercultural trainer, from interior designer to Her Britannic Majesty’s Honorary Consul. Now writing full time, Apple evocatively portrays peoples and places with empathy and humour, whether writing travel articles, blogs, short stories or full-length fiction. Find out more at Apple’s Blog and find her on Facebook andTwitter @expatapple.

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