Copper Fire by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Fisher was a contributing editor to Christian Parenting Today magazine. Her work has appeared in many prominent magazines. She has contributed to ten non-fiction books, including Chicken Soup for the Soul: Children with Special Needs. Wife-mother-author Fisher lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. The best thing about being a writer, she feels, is that all of life becomes material for writing. It’s all grit for the oyster.
Copper Star (ISBN: 0-9793327-4-5) and Copper Fire (ISBN: 978-0-981-5592-0-9) are available at Amazon other on-line booksellers, at Suzanne’s website, or can be ordered through your favorite bookstore.
REVIEW: “COPPER FIRE” WRITTEN BY SUZANNE WOODS FISHER
Suzanne Woods Fisher’s historical novel Copper Fire, is the sequel to the award-winning Copper Star, a World War II love story inspired by true events, and the second book in the Copper Star series. On a summer day in 1945, Louisa Gordon receives a telegram from the International Red Cross Tracing Service. Her young cousin, Elisabeth, has just been released from Dachau, a concentration camp, and Louisa is her only remaining relative. Louisa sets out on a mission to Germany to retrieve her cousin and begin a search for Friedrich Mueller, a Nazi sympathizer who fled Copper Springs, Arizona. This search runs in the background throughout the book and ends in an explosive climax at the end.
In Germany she meets the man she once loved and now hates because he betrayed her by turning in her Jewish father to the Nazis which led to her father’s death. Who is the audience for Copper Star: teenagers or adults or both? This recurring question nagged me throughout reading this book. The writing style is straight forward declarative sentence with vocabulary level to match, but the topics addressed in the book are big and sometimes dark (World War Two, Concentration Camp atrocities, betrayal). I decided: both teens and adults. A friend recently told me that this is a trend to blur the audience line between Young Adult and Adult fiction.
This is a good book with an important story to tell, well-written, told in a readable style, entirely from the viewpoint of the main female character. A message of Christian inspiration for the power of God’s love and prayer runs throughout, driving many plot points. Is there coincidence in life, or is it all part of God’s Plan? The book is neatly plotted and everything comes together tidily. For me, there are just too many coincidences for the story to be completely plausible, but, for the sake of the story, I was able to suspend my disbelief.
Copper Fire plunges us into a world of interesting characters. To me, this is Fisher’s strength: the economical drawing of character, believable dialoge and the relationships between the characters. Fisher says that Louisa, our heroine, is her favorite character in Copper Fire. In an interview with Velda Brotherton, Fisher says: I really like my main character in Copper Star, Louisa, the young resistance worker smuggled out of Germany by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. She is funny, determined, smart‚ and flawed. And she knows it! She has an ability not to take herself too seriously.
Other characters include Louisa’s husband, a minister in a small Arizona town, their deaf son, the rescued cousin from Germany, and ghosts from the past that re-enter their lives in interesting ways.
One of the other strengths of Copper Fire is the way it engages with social and ethical issues from World War II, cultural stereotypes, and education for the deaf.
This book is well worth the read and you can certainly read it with your teenager. It will make for a fertile ground of discussion.