Reviewed by April Gardner
Copper Fire by Suzanne Woods
"Ms. Fisher is a master at character development, and she's outdone herself with Copper Fire."
Copper Fire is the story of a girl recovering from the physical and emotional scars of a Nazi concentration camp, and her Aunt Louisa’s devotion to see her through it.
The war in Europe is finally over, but its affects are still wreaking havoc on lives the world over. The backwater town of Copper Springs, Arizona is no exception.
According to the church ladies, minister’s wife Louisa Gordon has considerably added to the town’s struggles to get back on its feet. But what else was she supposed to do? Abandon her young cousin, a recent prisoner at Dachau? Quite the contrary, Louisa boards a ship bound for her homeland, Germany, and brings the scrawny girl home. However, Elisabeth has been changed in ways that Louisa could never have imagined.
She’s spiteful and angry, lashing out at those who love her most. Her habit of “organizing” other people’s belongings must be stopped. The kids at school ridicule her, and her teachers are aghast at her ill behavior.
When Louisa arrived in Copper Springs a couple of years ago, she thought she’d never find a more challenging person to deal with than her husband’s Aunt Martha. In Louisa’s own words “Aunt Martha belongs to my husband Robert,” and she might “have been baptized in pickle juice.” Little did she know that the Lord was simply preparing her for the day Elisabeth would join their family.
When Louisa Gordon returns to post-war Germany, Ms. Fisher paints a vivid picture of the country’s devastation. For anyone who enjoys history, this portion of the book will be delightful. For everyone else, don’t worry! You’ll never even know you’re learning.
Copper Fire brought a smile to my face from page one, which is exactly what I’ve come to expect from author Suzanne W. Fisher. It’s real life through and through. Every character has a list of faults that makes them all the more endearing. Louisa can’t seem to bridle her tongue. Her husband, Robert, is a true man, complete with two-word sentiments, and dear Aunt Martha is back in all her crabapple glory.
But Elisabeth takes the cake. This troubled youngster’s shenanigans and quarrelsome temperament draw the reader in, like gawkers at a crime scene. Ms. Fisher is a master at character development, and she’s outdone herself with Copper Fire.
A smidgen of romance and a bite-sized portion of suspense rounds Copper Fire out nicely, making it a must-read.
Congratulations, Ms. Fisher. Another outstanding book.
April W Gardner writes adult and middle grade historical fiction. Her first novel, Wounded Spirits, releases with Vintage Romance Publishing in November of this year. She is a member of ACFW and reviews for Title Trakk, At Home With Christian Fiction, and FIRST Wild Card Blog Tours. A military spouse, April has performed the art of homemaking all over the world. Currently, she lives in Georgia with her darling Hubby. A homeschool mom, she fills her mornings talking fractions and phonics with her two sweet kiddos. In her free time, April enjoys reading, gardening, and DIY. In no particular order, she dreams of owning a horse, visiting all the national parks, and speaking Italian. Visit April's Website or her blog, A Writer's Journey. You can also get to know April on Facebook and Twitter.