BookBrowse Reviews Night of Fire by Colin Thubron

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Night of Fire

by Colin Thubron

Night of Fire by Colin Thubron
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     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Jan 2017, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Zoë Fairtlough

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In the night, as a dilapidated building in London succumbs to fire, the inhabitants in their solitary apartments relive the memory of defining secrets and events.

Each seemingly separate chapter of Night of Fire is a gem—perspectives on life and death, love and loss, time and truth, and God. The novel reads like a collection of eight contemporary short stories that form a cohesive whole. We meet a landlord more interested in the ways of the cosmos than in the individuals towards whom he has duties; a failed priest who harbors an ancient guilt; a neurosurgeon, self-absorbed yet beset with questions about the whole universe; and a lepidopterist who finds the rarest butterfly and love when she isn't looking for them.

We know these people by visiting places that have special meaning to them, far away from the dingy reality of their present-day lonely lives. The priest takes us to a Greek Orthodox monastery on Mount Athos, in northeastern Greece and then to his work at a heart-breaking refugee camp in Malawi, which he describes as: "...a...

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