Gripping | BookishFirst


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We are the ashes we are the fire by Joy McCullough rewards the reader with a gripping emotional story that also demands we examine our assumptions and beliefs related to sexual abuse and justice.
Well-written, beautiful and thought provoking McCullough brings reality and grit to her characters while also being lovely and poetic. One thing had me thoroughly confused though. How does Marianne have the nickname of Em. It’s clear how Nor derives from Elinor but where in the world did Em come from? We need books like we are the ashes we are the fire to help us examine hard issues by coaxing us to empathize with characters we may not understand. Even if the story can’t completely resolve the issues because not everyone gets to be okay McCullough helps us examine our world and find a little understanding of ourselves and the other people around us.