Fire Sermon by Jamie Quatro
A Novel

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But too often, the writing doesn’t hold up. There are diary entries in the form of letters to James that read – alas – like a teenage girl’s diary entries.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Jamie Quatro's remarkable first book of stories I Want to Show You More published to spectacular reviews, announcing her arrival to American letters as "a writer of great originality" (New York Times Book Review). Now, with her debut novel, Fire Sermon, Quatro delivers a startlingly original portrait of an obsession and the complexities of a marriage.

Married 20 years to Thomas and living in Nashville with their two children, Maggie is drawn ineluctably into a passionate affair while still fiercely committed to her husband and family. What begins as a platonic intellectual and spiritual exchange between writer Maggie and poet James, gradually transforms into an emotional and erotically-charged bond that challenges Maggie's sense of loyalty and morality, drawing her deeper into the darkness of desire.

Using an array of narrative techniques and written in spare, elegant prose, Jamie Quatro gives us a compelling account of one woman's emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual yearnings - unveiling the impulses and contradictions that reside in us all. Fire Sermon is an unflinchingly honest and formally daring debut novel from a writer of enormous talent.

 

About Jamie Quatro

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Published January 9, 2018 by Audible Studios.
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Fire Sermon
All: 7 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Below average
on Sep 13 2017

The people who connect with this debut novel are going to love it, and everyone else is going to roll their eyes and throw it across the room.

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Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Malcolm Forbes on Jan 19 2018

Five years on and in her incendiary first novel, “Fire Sermon,” Quatro introduces another female protagonist and deals with the same burning issues of faith and faithlessness, only this time with greater scrutiny and intensity and with more miraculous results.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Amity Gaige on Feb 06 2018

“Fire Sermon” offers an unflinching description of that kind of pain. The sentences burn with desire and disquiet. The novel is generously condensed, ardently focused, its mechanisms poetic, not expository.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Dwight Garner on Jan 01 2018

There’s real humanity in this novel, and there are insights about love and longing. Quatro is a gifted writer. But “Fire Sermon” ultimately reminds the reader of Emma Bovary’s observation that there is “in adultery all the banality of marriage.”

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Molly McCloskey on Feb 22 2018

But too often, the writing doesn’t hold up. There are diary entries in the form of letters to James that read – alas – like a teenage girl’s diary entries.

Read Full Review of Fire Sermon: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Toronto Star

Below average
Reviewed by Brett Josef Grubisic on Jan 12 2018

The mechanics of Quatro’s novel are an enjoyable puzzle, but clueless Thomas and pompous James are paper thin. And, as presented, Maggie’s sophistry about infidelity on top of agonized hand-wringing and, ultimately, the failure to find the courage for her convictions make her a trying companion for two hundred pages.

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Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by Adriana Delgado on Jan 07 2018

Undoubtedly, the topic of infidelity being in love with two people is hardly ground-breaking. But to add the teachings of Buddha about liberation through detachment to the story of a love affair is certainly not a typical thing.

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Reader Rating for Fire Sermon
70%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 28 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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