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Fire Sermon

Fire Sermon Married twenty 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 begin

  • Title: Fire Sermon
  • Author: Jamie Quatro
  • ISBN: 9780802127044
  • Page: 394
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Married twenty 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 MMarried twenty 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.

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      Posted by:Jamie Quatro
      Published :2018-09-18T10:46:13+00:00

    1 thought on “Fire Sermon

    1. When Garth Greenwell, whose book What Belongs To You (see my review), absolutely blew me away last year (it even ranked in the top five of the best books I read in 2016), took a pause from his social media hiatus to encourage people to read Jamie Quatro's Fire Sermon because of its absolute beauty, you can believe I listened.I've got to say, Greenwell didn't steer me wrong. This book contains some of the most gorgeous prose I've read in some time, although the book as a whole didn't quite hit a [...]

    2. Fire Sermon is a short intense book that can be read in one sitting. It flits back and forth in time, as Maggie struggles with her faith, her love for her husband Thomas, and her desire for possible lover James. I suppose the underlying story is familiar, but the execution is potent and at times beautifully written. The sex is fraught, and at times explicitly so. The emotions are uncomfortable, but not shocking to be shocking--rather, they feel like the honest complicated emotions of a conflicte [...]

    3. I devoured this book in a day. I loved the varied styles and timeline that moves around, the lyric writing, and the subject matter. It is an honest look at a long marriage, and the attraction, connection, and other forces that can pull you away or bring you back. Since both central characters are academics, they have pretty deep conversations about religion, philosophy, desire, guilt, and I enjoyed this part of it too. I will be ordering my own copy for rereading! ETA: This is a great article ab [...]

    4. Maggie is brought up in an evangelical family. She marries, and has children, young. Twenty years later, feeling trapped – and sick of her husband Thomas's pushy approach to sex – Maggie has an affair with James, a poet. Fire Sermon jumps back and forth through time, and in and out of Maggie's own first-person account, as it chronicles her life. That affair, as much an emotional and intellectual relationship as it is physical, is at the core of everything. Maggie traces her timeline backward [...]

    5. I am leaving this unrated. The author has I know intellectually done something unique. Combining guilt, infidelity, marriage and children, while struggling with Christian values. But I can't connect to these characters, so well written but alas not for me.

    6. I picked this up at my library yesterday after reading an excellent review by Larry H here on GR. What an addictive read, I could not put it down!

    7. The most intellectually stimulating novel about infidelity I’ve ever read – and let’s face it if you read lit fiction you’ve read a lot of books about infidelity. There’s so much James Salter in this book and it had me aching to re-read him. Quatro has done something very special and literary and poetic here.

    8. Quatro’s portrayal of her protagonist’s marriage and family life was so rich, unclichéd, and deeply deeply powerful that this was a 4-star read for me despite having hate-read much of the central story, about her affair: that core narrative was, by comparison, weak, uninteresting, marred by some of the worst sex writing in all of literature, and laden with literary and religious pretension. But the family story was so incredible that I can’t help exclaiming that Quatro is a writer to watc [...]

    9. "The chase itself will turn us into monsters if we don't give it up."This is an excruciatingly intimate little novel about a woman, Maggie, balancing her devotion to her husband, Thomas, with her desire for another man, James.Vignettes of Maggie's family life—all the mundane snippets—are juxtaposed with her intellectually, spiritually and emotionally charged email correspondences and encounters with James. Complicating matters even more is Maggie's Christianity and profound devotion to God.N [...]

    10. I don’t think this book is really about what the book blurb suggests it is about. If you read the blurb, you think you will be reading a story about a woman (Maggie) who gradually falls in love with a poet she has a exchange of correspondence with (James). Then she has to deal with the guilt she feels over that because she is still committed to her husband (Thomas) and her two children.If I am honest, that would not be a very interesting story. Maggie is an author and at one point she even say [...]

    11. Jamie Quatro is a fine writer and the last 50 pages of this book were so elegantly written that I wished the entire book had lived up to this promise. But like writers before her, Jamie Quatro strives to align an understanding and devotion to God with a so-called sinful extramarital affair. For this non-believer, it did not work.Maggie is married to Thomas, an imperfect man and father of her two children, who strives and often succeeds in being a good husband. Somewhere along the line, she begin [...]

    12. Life is messy. And sometimes we make it messier still. Take Margaret – or Maggie, to her friends. She comes from a well-off and tight-knit family which has given her a comfortable and solid upbringing. Raised an Evangelical, she remains a committed Christian into adulthood. Indeed, her approach to religion is quite intellectual, with a lively interest in comparative religions (and particularly the contrast between Western and Eastern faiths), early Church fathers and mysticism. Maggie is an ac [...]

    13. Many books focus on romantic affairs, but it takes something special to shed new light on this common subject. Two of my all-time favourite novels that explore the dynamics of an affair are Edith Wharton’s “The Age of Innocence” and Anne Enright’s “The Forgotten Waltz” which both feel so searingly honest in portraying the complicated emotions of all three of the people involved. Jamie Quatro’s “Fire Sermon” adds an entirely new dynamic charting the trajectory of an affair over [...]

    14. 2.5, rounded up. Like a guilty paramour leaving an unsatisfying relationship, I almost want to apologize to this book, saying "Honestly, it's not you - it's me"! But then again, if I had only felt any connection to this tale of the unrelieved religious guilt caused by a momentary affair, told from the point of view of a married female poet/academic but I didn't, so I have to feel the author's lack of extracting universal truths from these specifics bears some responsibility for my lack of enthu [...]

    15. Jamie Quatro’s debut novel, Fire Sermon, does something that I have never seen in a mainstream contemporary novel: it introduces an objective moral dimension to a fairly standard emotional dilemma. In other words, Quatro’s protagonist Maggie believes strongly and passionately in God, and also enters into an emotional affair (which, don’t you worry, becomes very physical) with a fellow writer, James. What saves this book from being another novel about sad white writers in bad marriages (tha [...]

    16. Is a spiritual, deep connection with another human divine intervention? Where are the lines drawn between longing for God, searching for the truth, and letting go? Jamie Quatro's FIRE SERMON uses confessional prose with layers of poetry to tell the story of Margaret whose mid-life crisis is hardly typical and one you will never forget.

    17. I really like this book and the author's distinct voice. The book reminded me of Ian McEwan's "On Chesil Beach," a favorite of mine. There is a somewhat similar plot regarding marriage.

    18. I picked this up and couldn’t put it down.Throughout the book, we see Maggie’s internal war between her faith and having an intense connection for a man that is not her husband.What I found most interesting, were her conversations with her therapist(?)/God(?), where she tries to use her faith to justify the affair.This isn’t your normal story about infidelity.It is very honest, and often times made me uncomfortable.This short story that packs a lot of emotion.

    19. "I admit to playing up the innocence angle.""I admit that I loathe God for creating the universe in such a helpless situation-knowing it would get itself into this kind of trouble, creating it anyhow.""But would you leave a husband who, when you wake in the middle of the night, your body slick with sweat-dreaming you had to say goodbye to a man you slept with, once upon a time, but the man doesn't care, he has better things to do, he doesn't mind that he'll never see you again and the pain in yo [...]

    20. The more I think about this, the more it haunts me. 4 stars just isn’t enough, there is no doubt that this is a 5 star book. Read it, it will break your heart and make you understand the power of love.

    21. A marvel of a book. Quatro stupendously creates a world of intellect, theology and raw emotion that had my jaw pinned to the floor from the first page to the last. Shifting points of view, vacillating modes of correspondence and spiraling lists of detached detail from some aerial observer provide a jarringly intimate, rapturous reading experience.

    22. I read it, but it was a huge waste of time. The language was to flowery and poetic. Not my taste. Book would have been better without it. Thank you to Netgalley and Grove Atlantic Publishing for the chance to read the book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.

    23. It is common for people to want what they cannot have and to lose interest in something once they get it. Maggie, the narrator in Jamie Quatro’s Fire Sermon is one of those people. Her mom tells the story of her begging for a necklace for a year, only to wear it twice and give it away once she gets it. So, she’s one of those. Unfortunately for her husband Thomas, she is like that with people, too.Which has her in conversation with some unidentified interlocutor, probably her therapist, maybe [...]

    24. I had to think about this one a bit before writing my review. I did enjoy the poetic writing style, although it got a little confusing at times as it abruptly switches POV and timelines. There is a lot of heart and raw emotion in this book, but I really disliked the protagonist. I was bothered by her victim attitude and the agonizing over her religious convictions and guilt around the choices that she willingly made. I kind of wanted to smack her.

    25. OK. I found these the two central character's yearning for "ideal" partners, and yearning to master pure forms of art (the poetry and music are closest to God trope) grandiose. But this book is amazing structurally, alternating between snatches of conversation, love letters, and Virginia Woolf like impressionism. It felt both chiseled and full of movement.

    26. This book isn't for everyone. It is about 2 very flawed people battling morality issues and contains some racy scenes. Its a book with no quotation marks so reading it takes some additional thought. I personally loved it. Its a book you can read in one binge session.

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