Item description for Veil of Fire: A Novel by Marlo Schalesky...
Overview In 1894, the worst firestorm in Minnesota history descended on the town of Hinkley, consuming 400 square miles and killing 418 people in just four hours. Heat, flames, and darkness swept through the town, devouring lives, and consuming all hope. In the aftermath of the fire, the town of Hinkley rises from the ashes, its people determined to rebuild their lives. But in the shadows, someone is watching. A rumor spreads of a mysterious figure that haunts the hills surrounding Hinkley. Who is this hermit? A monster, a ghost, or a memory? An enemy in hiding, or a lost love? This compelling story of one person's journey of loss will challenge readers to live the life God has given even if it's not the life we dreamed of.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.48" Width: 5.54" Height: 0.69" Weight: 0.83 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2007
Publisher David C. Cook
ISBN 1589190777 ISBN13 9781589190771
Availability 0 units.
More About Marlo Schalesky
MARLO SCHALESKY is the author of several acclaimed novels, including Christy Award winner Beyond theNight. A graduate of Stanford University, Marlo also has a masters of theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. She's a regular columnist for Power for Living and lives with her husband, Bryan, and five children in California.
Reviews - What do customers think about Veil of Fire: A Novel?
An Amazing Read Aug 9, 2008
Marlo Schalesky is a consummate storyteller who has woven a tale of suspense, love, and healing in Veil of Fire. In 1894, the small town of Hinckley, Minnesota faced a fire that destroyed the community. As the few survivors begin to piece their lives back together, fear reigns and the citizens persecute the unknown--a being they believe is a ghost. Only a young orphan is willing to question who or what this being might be. Her discovery shatters the secrets one citizen thought had gone up in smoke. Schalesky has done a masterful job of maintaining the suspense until the moment the secret is revealed--a skill that eludes some of the best authors. I loved this book.
A compelling read! May 19, 2008
I had heard that Marlo Schalesky's writing was a cut above the rest, and this novel drew a line under that phrase and placed an exclamation point at the end. In BOLD font.
What a spellbinding book! I was hooked right away and read right through to the end, breathless, savoring the excitement with each page. A VEIL OF FIRE has it all: great story, heartfelt, tender moments, real characters, the thrill of the chase, quiet beauty, and truth. I loved that it was based on a real event in history. Marlo's fine writing and historical accuracy made this a memorable read. Looking forward to my next Marlo novel! Well done.
A small town struggles to rebuild after a devastating fire Aug 4, 2007
On Sept. 1, 1894, a firestorm raced across east-central Minnesota, consuming everything in its path. In four hours, the flames killed hundreds of people, and wiped six towns off the map. Hinckley was one of those towns and this novel is the story of its people.
Nora is a seamstress, trying to hem a dress in daylight that seems to grow dimmer as the minutes pass. It isn't until the family horse begins to scream that she and her daughter, Ellie, run outside. What they see is a firestorm consuming the countryside and the small town of Hinckley. Their only escape route is the set of railroad tracks that runs east of their farm, tracks that the Number Four train is currently on. The train signals escape, but will Meri be fast enough to outrun the flames?
Farmer Josef Strom flees with his wife and infant daughter. As the flames close in, they race to the safety of the town's gravel pit. But disaster rolls out of the flames and Josef is forced to make a decision not conceived of in his worse nightmares.
But for some, the fire is a stroke of good fortune. Lars Jenson can't believe his luck. He's managed to identify two bodies as his wife and daughter. The fire consumed them and the secrets they held over him. Now he is free to live his life as he sees fit-a wealthy businessman and pillar of the community.
But not all of the survivors return to the town. One stays hidden in the hills, disfigured by the burns that killed so many others. This lonely soul longs for community, but stays hidden out of fear. Rumors begin to circulate through town about the ghost living in the hills. The words filter back, piling pain upon pain.
As the survivors struggle to rebuild, they find they can't move forward until the ghosts of their respective pasts are put to rest. Raw emotion threatens to consume the town, just like the maelstrom of September.
Praise for Veil of Fire Jul 27, 2007
Intrigued by both the cover and the concept, I admit I was still somewhat cautious about this book because I'd never heard of the author. That is until about page 3 when I found myself completely engulfed by her account of the firestorm. Marlo Schalesky opens this novel with a bang: a blaze of descriptive images which make you feel as if you are right there in Hinkley, Minnesota, choking from the smoke and flames.
This is one of those rare stories which has you caring for the characters on a very personal level. After the fire, you'll feel as though you have a vested interest in watching how they rebuild both the town and their lives. The dialogue of the hermit in particular is prosaic and melancholy and you will be flipping pages madly to discover the ghost's identity. Overall, the novel addresses the theme of past mistakes and the search for redemption. I don't hesitate in saying this is one of the best books I've read this year, and the only other current author who has had me as consumed with the lives of his characters has been Khaled Hosseini.
Outstanding novel- I feel like I've discovered a gem of a writer who's work transcends the Christian Fiction label.
Engulfing Historical Suspense Jul 27, 2007
In 1894 a fire broke out in the town of Hinckley, Minnesota. Four hours later 400 square miles were torched. Four hundred eighteen lives were lost. Out of the ashes the townspeople rebuilt and rose again like the Phoenix of mythology. And a myth began to grow among the survivors. There was one in the hills watching, observing. Friend or foe? No one knew. To this day no one knows who the hermit in the hills around Hinckley was. Speculations abound still.
I met Marlo Schalesky through Shoutlife. Intrigued by the blurb for Veil of Fire, I went to her website and discovered I could read chapter one. I did. And I rushed right out to find the book so I could finish the story.
I must say I'm not a fan of historical fiction. I find it difficult to relate to stories that delve into settings, customs and such that I'm unfamiliar with. However, this story caught my attention because it seemed to have a little mystery and suspense to it. This story, though set in a historical time period and speculating on what might have been so and what was, reads more like a suspense novel than anything else. I went into it expecting chapter one to be about the fire and the remaining pages to be about the aftermath. I got more than I bargained for. The first four chapters cover the fire and the townsfolk attempting to escape. Some succeed, others fail. This section was some of the most intense reading I've done in a long time. I could smell the smoke and hear the flames. The fear of the characters was palpable. I experienced it all with them. This is the mark of a great writer.
The remaining story takes you on several paths. That of a little girl orphaned by the fire. A woman grief-stricken over the loss of her own daughter. A businessman who essentially owns the town. His no account son. A farmer whose only tangible of his lost wife is his infant daughter.
And the hermit in the hills. We see inside the mind and heart of this character. Learn their struggles, meditate on their questions, consider possible answers along with them. All the while having no idea who this person is until the last possible moment. Marlo tosses out so many possibilities to reader as to the identity of this person. I personally was so torn by the possibilities that I could not make up my mind. And yet, it stared me in the face the whole time. Like any good story should.
This was my first historical read. If there are others like it out there, I can assure you I'll be reading more.