When We Caught Fire

When We Caught Fire

by Anna Godbersen

Narrated by Suzanne Elise Freeman

Unabridged — 9 hours, 11 minutes

Anna Godbersen
When We Caught Fire

When We Caught Fire

by Anna Godbersen

Narrated by Suzanne Elise Freeman

Unabridged — 9 hours, 11 minutes

Anna Godbersen

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Overview

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Luxe series comes a lush, romantic novel about the love triangle that started Chicago's infamous Great Fire.

It's 1871, and Emmeline Carter is poised to take Chicago's high society by storm. Between her father's sudden rise to wealth and her recent engagement to Chicago's most eligible bachelor, Emmeline has it all. But she can't stop thinking about the life she left behind, including her childhood sweetheart, Anders Magnuson.

Fiona Byrne, Emmeline's childhood best friend, is delighted by her friend's sudden rise to prominence, especially since it means Fiona is free to pursue Anders herself. But when Emmeline risks everything for one final fling with Anders, Fiona feels completely betrayed.

As the summer turns to fall, the city is at a tipping point: friendships are tested, hearts are broken, and the tiniest spark might set everything ablaze.

Sweeping, soapy, and romantic, this is a story about an epic love triangle—one that will literally set the city ablaze and change the lives of three childhood friends forever.



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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

11/26/2018
Set on the cusp of the 1871 Great Chicago Fire, this historical melodrama by Godbersen (the Luxe series) is chock full of gossip, glitz, and a searing Upstairs, Downstairs dynamic between the serving class and the wealthy. Newly rich and social-climbing Emmeline has landed Chicago’s most eligible bachelor—to the dismay and jealousy of the other young women around her, and despite the fact that Emmeline is still in love with her childhood sweetheart, a boxer named Anders. Meanwhile, her best friend turned ladies’ maid, Fiona, also secretly pines for Anders, and the two have since struck up a relationship following Emmeline’s engagement. With the wedding just days away, Emmeline schemes to run away with Anders, breaking Fiona’s heart, even as Godberson’s early promise to tell the “real” story of the Great Chicago Fire adds the momentum of coming doom for everyone involved. The author’s talent for creating flawed, maddeningly selfish high-society personalities is on full display in Emmeline, as is her knack for drawing sympathy for social underdogs such as Fiona, the real heroine of this love-triangle novel. Readers will root for Fiona and hope that she prevails with Anders, despite the possibility that their futures might just burn to the ground. Ages 14–up. (Oct.)

From the Publisher

Praise for The Luxe series: “A big, sumptuous tale of catty girls, dark secrets and windswept romance unfurls in this compulsively readable novel of late–19th century New York City socialites…Readers will clamor for this sharp, smart drama of friends, lovers, lies and betrayal.” — Kirkus Reviews

Praise for The Luxe series: “Mystery, romance, jealousy, betrayal, humor, and gorgeous, historically accurate details. I couldn’t put The Luxe down!” — Cecily von Ziegesar, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Gossip Girl series

Praise for The Luxe series: “Skillfully plotted and full of decadent detail. Godbersen captures the drawing–room sensibilities and society flair of Wharton, Thackeray, and James without burdening readers with their posh literariness or social critique.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“The action-packed ending leads to an apogee that will appeal to lovers of soap operas. Danielle Steele for the younger set.” — Kirkus Reviews

“A steamy romance set amid the tragic Chicago fire of 1871 that will intrigue fans of dramatic, swoony historical fiction.” — School Library Journal

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Praise for The Luxe series: “Skillfully plotted and full of decadent detail. Godbersen captures the drawing–room sensibilities and society flair of Wharton, Thackeray, and James without burdening readers with their posh literariness or social critique.

Cecily von Ziegesar

Praise for The Luxe series: “Mystery, romance, jealousy, betrayal, humor, and gorgeous, historically accurate details. I couldn’t put The Luxe down!

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Praise for The Luxe series: “Skillfully plotted and full of decadent detail. Godbersen captures the drawing–room sensibilities and society flair of Wharton, Thackeray, and James without burdening readers with their posh literariness or social critique.

School Library Journal

07/01/2018
Gr 8 Up—The author of the "Luxe" and "Bright Young Things" series relates a lush tale of the nouveau riche set among the days leading up to the Great Chicago Fire. Emmeline Carter is new to Chicago society and feels like an impostor. Mr. Ochs Carter rose to wealth and prominence by questionable means, and the family has not been fully accepted. It is hoped that Emmeline's upcoming marriage to Frederick Tree, one of the city's most eligible bachelors, will solidify the Carters' social standing. Shallow Emmeline feels no passion for Freddy and longs for her childhood lust, Anders, who has kept in touch with their mutual friend Fiona. Fiona hopes Emmeline's engagement will allow her admission into Anders' life. Little does she know that Emmeline is hatching a secret plot to sell her jewels and run off with Anders. Once Freddy grasps Emmeline's scheme, he shows a violent domineering side and locks her in her room while the great fire rages outside. More background information on some of the historical figures who make cameos and perhaps a map of the burnt district would have been helpful for those unfamiliar with the event. The friendship aspect of the story lacks nuance. Was there ever any depth to the Emmeline-Fiona connection other than a shared childhood among the same class? Still, fans of the author's previous works won't blink an eye. VERDICT A steamy romance set amid the tragic Chicago fire of 1871 that will intrigue fans of dramatic, swoony historical fiction.—Laura Dooley-Taylor, Lake Zurich Middle School North, IL

Kirkus Reviews

2018-06-24
The days leading up to and including Chicago's Great Fire of 1871 are the backdrop for an eternally twisting love triangle.A brief, intriguing introductory note from the three protagonists implicates the triangulated friends in the cause of the fire. (As the excellent afterword mentions, Mrs. O'Leary's cow has long been cleared of culpability.) Unfortunately, there are many pages of relationship angst preceding the fire itself. Readers who enjoy romance novels may relish those pages, which veer between the third-person-intimate viewpoints of Emmeline and Fiona, the only nonstock characters. When they were younger, Emmeline, Fiona, and blue-eyed Anders were playmates in a grittier part of Chicago, where Fiona's stereotypically poor-but-honest-and-loving-family-with-a-now-disabled-father still lives. Fiona now lives with Emmeline, supporting her own family by working as Emmeline's lady's maid. Emmeline's father—having worked his way up in the world—is ecstatic that his 18-year-old daughter is about to marry Frederick Arles Tree, son of a banker. Anders—who has kissed each of the girls once—has meanwhile become a boxer. Will the vacillating Emmeline marry Freddy? Will Fiona reveal her secret yearning for Anders, who once pledged his troth to Emmeline? There is one tasteful, steamy sex scene and a plethora of descriptions of clothing and furniture. The action-packed ending leads to an apogee that will appeal to lovers of soap operas. Everyone is presumed white. Danielle Steele for the younger set. (historical note) (Historical fiction.13-17)

Product Details

BN ID: 2940170414406
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/02/2018
Edition description: Unabridged

Customer Reviews