A Fire Sparkling by Julianne Maclean is the second World War II and modern-day dual timeline story I have read recently. In both this novel and The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer, an American granddaughter travels back to Europe in search of her grandmother’s past during World War II. Both grandmothers had dark secrets that were not revealed until the modern-day time. Both books discuss the effects of those secrets on subsequent generations. Both books involve children who did not know who their real fathers were. If I were to recommend one over the other, it would be The Things We Cannot Say. But that does not mean you shouldn’t read this one too.
In A Fire Sparkling, Gillian Gibbons catches Malcolm, her rich boyfriend in the act of cheating on her. She grabs a few clothes from their penthouse and heads to her father and grandmother Vivian’s house in Connecticut. Gillian’s father had been rummaging in the attic and found an old seaman’s chest belonging to Vivian. Inside the chest were pictures of Vivian and a German officer with a date about the time Gillian’s father would have been conceived. Vivian had told her son that he was the child of a prominent English family. Once confronted with the photographs, Vivian tells the long-held secrets of her World War II past. In the modern-day story Gillian most decide whether to go back to Malcolm, who had begged her to come back and proposed to her. During her emotional recovery from the break-up, she travels to London and Berlin in search of answers to what became of the people revealed in Vivian’s history. What Gillian learns is a surprise to everyone, including Vivian.
A Fire Sparkling is full of twists and turns. All of the secrets from Vivian’s life surprised me, but the events in Gillian’s life did not. The book discusses the effect of long-held secrets, parentage, guilt, heroism, survival, and true love. I listened to the Audible version. 4- Stars.