Monday 1 June 2020

Fire Starters - Theresa Linden - West Brothers Book 6

Fire Starters
West Brothers Book 6
Theresa Linden
Silver Fire Publishing

ISBN 9780997674798
eISBN 9781393955276

It was bittersweet to read this book. A few years ago I read the first of the West Brothers books, Roland West Loner, and fell in love with Linden’s writing. Within a few months I had read everything she had published by that point. To find out that this is the last planned book in the West Brothers series leaves me wanting more. Even before I began the book. My only real hope is that we will encounter them again in other adult novels like Anyone But Him. But this book was an excellent read. I truly love each of the books Linden has penned and consider her a masterful writer. It does not matter if like Madeleine L’Engle she jumps genres and focus. The books in this series are for the most part like L’Engle’s Chronos series. They are realistic fiction. They could be families, friends, and youth that you know and have regular encounters with. One book in the series has a supernatural spiritual battle element. But for the most part just down to earth people, trying to live and live out their faith. In fact, The Fire Starters is the name the youth group picked. And in this book a confirmation story we have so many plots and events inter woven, and when they come together it is masterfully written.

There are several different subplots during the period of this tale. First the three West Brothers are all preparing for confirmation. They missed it during the period when they did not really attend church after their mother passed. They are doing it with the Grade 8 class. Their Church Saint Michael’s has suffered some extensive water damage. The church is fighting to stay. And it looks like the bishop might close the parish. Caitlyn is playing mom, while her mother has to go help her grandma who has had a stroke. She is also pulled out of school and working on homeschooling. Peter is racing all over the place trying to figure out who wants Saint Michael’s gone and why. Peter and Jarret West have some history. But peter pulls Jarret’s confirmation prayer card. In this story the West brothers are figuring out their path to confirmation. And at points it looks like both Roland and Jarret want to postpone it at least another year. And Peter and Caitlyn both reflect back on their own confirmation, and why they did it, and what it really means. Can the Fire Starters help save Saint Michael’s; can they help the West Brothers through the confirmation process? Will Peter figure out what is really up, at the church and with Jarrett? To find out you will need to read this amazing novel.

I have thought back on my own confirmation often. I remember only really doing it because the whole class was doing it, and they never really told us to you could do it later if you did not do it with your class. This book is excellent for those preparing for the sacrament, or those of us who have already received it. At the end of the volume is an excellent discussion guide. There is a section on the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit. And an excellent novena of surrender by Servant of God Don Dolindo Ruotolo.

I have really loved all of Linden's books, this one is one of the most powerful. It will hold a special place on my shelf. I recommend all of Linen's books, but the spiritual elements in this book take it to a new level, and the explorations of the importance of confirmation, and the continual process of growing in God is incredibly well written. Another incredible read that I give my highest recommendation. Last year I wrote a piece about Three Catholic Authors you might not have heard of. If I was to write a piece on my favorite contemporary Catholic or Christian authors Linden would be at the top of the list.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Theresa Linden:
Tortured Soul

Chasing Liberty Series:
01 Chasing Liberty
02 Testing Liberty
03 Fight For Liberty
Bound to find Freedom - Short Story


West brothers Series:
Roland West Loner
Life-Changing Love
Battle for His Soul

Standing Strong
Roland West Outcast
Fire Starters

Armour of God Series:
Belt of Truth
Breastplate of Righteousness
Boot of Peace
Shield of Faith
Helmet of Salvation
Sword of the Spirit

Armor of God Series Second Edition:

Other Books:
A Symbol of Hope - Short Story
A Battle for the Faith (with John Paul Wohlscheid)


Books contributed to:
Image and Likeness: Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body
Secrets: Visible & Invisible 7 Amazing Stories - Catholic Teen Books
Gifts Visible & Invisible 8 Christmas Stories for Teens
Treasures: Visible & Invisible 8 Stories for Teens

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