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A Fireproof Home for the Bride

by Amy Scheibe

A Fireproof Home for the Bride by Amy Scheibe X
A Fireproof Home for the Bride by Amy Scheibe
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for A Fireproof Home for the Bride
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  • Betty T. (Warner Robins, GA)
    All is Not as It Appears
    This book started fairly slow for me, and I wasn't quite sure of where it was going. But after it "set the stage" giving some background on the people and families involved, it really took off then. It went down a road I never would have suspected.

    Set in the mid-west in the 50s, the story revolves around young Emmeline Nelson, raised in a strict religious (Lutheran) home. It has been concluded that she will marry young Ambrose whom she has known all her life. But then she meets Bobby, a handsome Catholic boy. Now her world will never be the same again. Did she want it to be the same? She feels drawn to the local newspaper and wants to be a journalist. Her family and Ambrose are totally against it. Emmeline starts to research a couple of fires that took place in her small town. She thinks there is a common thread between them. She starts digging and uncovers some shocking truths about her family and people she thought she knew.

    Having grown up in the South in a poor family, many of the scenes in the book took me back to my childhood. The writing is very descriptive. I found myself totally immersed into the story.
  • Marilyn J. (Harvey, ND)
    A Literary Fargo (the movie)/Moorhead?
    Hmmm. Who knew? The reason I wanted to read this book was because of the locale, and that didn't disappoint. The staunch, anti-Catholic Lutherans, eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota in the fifties, sixties, and beyond, the mistrust of Mexicans and other "strange" nationalities, the disapproval of careers other than marriage and child-rearing for young women of the time, and the meticulous description of the rural areas including the plat book explained admiringly to Emmy by Jim. These people like their straight lines,and their north/south and east/west roads, and they want everything neat and clean. I loved reading about Jim at the Fargo Forum, because he was just such a good guy. Even the Ku Klux Klan's firmly planted roots weren't surprising after learning in my first years in North Dakota as a young adult about the John Birch Society presence and the Posse Comitatus, then more recently the Tea Party. However, murder, rape, arson, gays, incest? I couldn't keep the movie "Fargo" from my thoughts. I had no idea North Dakota and rural western Minnesota were filled with such corruption. It seemed to be a bit much for poor Emmaline, but she took it in stride. I found in Scheibe's writing both fresh turns of phrase and cliches. I enjoyed the book and recommend it as not a riveting read but a highly involved story with a bit too much drama and, for the most part, great characterization. Having lived much of my adult life in the area, some in Fargo, and often shaking my head about many things I've seen here, I liked it. It isn't the same place it was for Emmy though.
  • Wendy F. (Kalamazoo, MI)
    Fireproof Home for the Bride
    This novel hearkens back to the innocent time of the early 1950's Midwest. Emmaline Nelson is coming of age during this time, not sure whether to follow the expected way that was being created for her or to break out on her own. The changing times of the civil rights movement are brought forward in this book and actually offer a chilling mirror image of what is happening in our country today.
  • Kathleen B. (Las Vegas, NV)
    Have to suspend disbelief.
    I found this book to have a very slow start but once it got going it kept my interest. Emmy grew up in a strict Lutheran home with expectations for her future even a husband picked out for her. Her life was to be a farm wife. She broke free with good reasons and left home when she turned 18. She then found out for the first time her family was involved in the KKK and hated Mexican immigrants, Catholics and anyone different. She met relatives that she never knew about. Got a job at a Paper and became a cub-reporter. Her second fiancé was a Catholic and on the day she gets engaged she finds out he is gay. So much going on. Then we go into attempted murder. It is all interesting and a lot of things to talk about in a book group.
  • Andrea P. (Plano, TX)
    A Nice Read
    "Emmeline Nelson and her sister Birdie grow up in the hard, cold rural Lutheran world of strict parents, strict milking times, and strict morals. Marriage is preordained, the groom practically predestined. Though it's 1958, southern Minnesota did not see changing roles for women on the horizon. Caught in a time bubble between a world war and the ferment of the 1960's, Emmy doesn't see that she has any say in her life, any choices at all."

    Sounds good, right? It is. This is a very quick and satisfying read. I recommend it for readers of historical fiction.

    This book would make a fabulous movie. Think Footloose in 1958.
  • Marsha S. (Nags Head, NC)
    A Fireproof Home for the Bride
    This was a good read and kept my interest nearly all the way through. But I did find parts of the story hard to believe. For example, Emmy was portrayed as an independent but compliant child, willing to go along with the future that had been planned for her. When her rebellion finally came, it seemed sudden and extreme. Her jump to an independent life as a career-oriented reporter seemed at odds with the future prepared for her by her upbringing. Her breakaway from her family was not surprising given the circumstances, but seems extraordinary given the setting and the time period. That said, the book was readable and a highly imaginative story.
  • Joanne V. (Towanda, PA)
    The 50's
    I grew up during the 50's and most of the book rang true. I admired Emily, although I am not sure that in reality, her "independence" would have actually happened. That time was really quite structured and it would take tremendous courage to break free. Since it is written in this time frame, the possibility of Emily seems real. I really liked the story and thought it well written and the characters well done. It would be a good book club discussion I think.

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