* A USA TODAY pick for Must-Read Women’s Fiction of 2019!
*One of The Washington Post’s 10 Picks for the New Year!
*One of SheReads’ Most Anticipated Books of 2019!
From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel about courage, hope, and learning to love against all odds.
ON SALE August 2019!!!
Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s a total pro at other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to give up her whole life and move to Boston, Cassie suddenly has an emergency of her own.
The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew—even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the infatuation-inspiring rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because love is girly, and it’s not her thing. And don’t forget the advice her old captain gave her: Never date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping . . . and it means risking everything—the only job she’s ever loved and the hero she’s worked like hell to become.
Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt and healing tour-de-force about the strength of vulnerability, the nourishing magic of forgiveness, and the life-changing power of defining courage, at last, for yourself.
Praise for THINGS YOU SAVE IN A FIRE from #1 NYT Bestselling Author JODI PICOULT
“Oh, how I love Katherine Center’s writing…and her newest novel is a gem: a tale of a female firefighter who has to learn the difference between saving a life and truly living one; a story that reminds us that the word emergency has, at its heart, a new beginning. Just read it, and thank me later.”
—JODI PICOULT, NYT bestselling author of A SPARK OF LIGHT and SMALL GREAT THINGS
#1 NYT BESTSELLING AUTHOR JODI PICOULT
"Oh, how I love Katherine Center’s writing…and her newest novel is a gem: ->
#1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR JODI PICOULT
...a tale of a female firefighter who has to learn the difference between saving a life and truly living one; ->
#1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR JODI PICOULT
...a story that reminds us that the word emergency has, at its heart, a new beginning. ->
#1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR JODI PICOULT
Just read it, and thank me later.”
on THINGS YOU SAVE IN A FIRE
Praise for Things You Save in a Fire
One of SheReads’ Most Anticipated Books of 2019!
“Everyone fell in love with the breakout hit How to Walk Away in 2018 and this upcoming August, Katherine Center brings readers another important women’s fiction novel.”
One of The Washington Post’s 10 Picks for the New Year!
“A spirited, independent heroine meets a smoking-hot fireman in Center’s smart romance.”
—The Washington Post
A USA TODAY pick for Must-Read Women’s Fiction of 2019!
“I know, you’re thinking, August? But this book is so good! Loved the juxtaposition of the hero’s and heroine’s roles. She’s the expert and he is the rookie. Fabulous forgiveness theme. Humorous and touching!”
—Leigh Davis, USA TODAY
"This poignant, beautiful, thought-provoking, emotionally- intelligent and timely novel had me laughing and tearing up in equal measures . . . I would have given it six stars out of five - it was such an enjoyable, heartwarming read!"
"Katherine Center did it again!! “Things You Save in a Fire” is an absolutely wonderful read!! . . . She has become one of my favorite authors. Do yourself a favor... go buy all her books!! You won’t be disappointed!! Again — Bravo!"
"This book has it all! Strength, love, romance, courage and hurt . . . An excellent, well written novel! I was caught in Cassie's world and found myself rooting for her to take her life back! You will love this story!"
"This story just filled me with so much joy, I don't know how to explain it . . . If anyone is looking for a story that'll have you swooning and then in tears, but leave you with your heart full, then you must pick this one up."
"You will fall in love with Cassie. She is such a strong lead and watching her go through so many changes is incredible. Owen is my new favorite male lead. He is such a gentleman! Enjoyed this book so much!"
"I read this book in one sitting, and it wasn't what I thought it would be, it was so much better. The writing was so on-point, it was both heartwarming, a bit humorous and at times quite serious. Yet through it all, it gave me pause to think about human frailties, the good, the bad and even the ugly. Highly recommended. "
Early Praise for Things You Save in a Fire
READER REVIEWS for Things You Save in a Fire
“I loved, loved, LOVED this book!!! I must admit that I am a huge fan of Katherine Center and she definitely did NOT disappoint in this one . . . This was a page turner, filled with action, witty dialogue, and a just plain great story. It’s about love, forgiveness, family, and revenge. I’d give it 6 stars if I could! If you only read one book this year, make it Things you Save in a Fire.”
“Every single star to this emotional, but uplifting story. Katherine Center has her own style . . . one I love . . . Easy to read, fun, engaging, lovable characters . . . It has it all. If you enjoy domestic fiction, don’t miss this one! Five bold and fiery stars!”
“I can’t describe the giddy feeling I get when I know I’m about to read a new Katherine Center novel. She has become my go-to author when I want to read something fun and light on the surface, but with true to life characters and deep meaning that will touch my soul . . . This novel is beautiful, heartbreaking, funny, and uplifting all in one go. When I have the opportunity to read one of Katherine Center’s novels, I know that I’d better plan on staying in one place for an extended period of time—there is no way I’ll be able to put it down. Things You Save in a Fire was definitely no exception. I highly recommend this one—you won’t be disappointed!”
“Damn this book was on Fire. I did not want to put it down. I absolutely loved this book! It was easy to read, easy to follow and become engaged in. It held your interest from the first page to the very last. Well done Katherine Center!”
“Oh, Katherine Center, how I love you! Writing this as I wipe happy tears from my face. Despite receiving this ARC from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press, I still plan on purchasing this beautiful story as soon as it hits shelves! Center writes a heart-warming story about Cassie, a fierce female firefighter. Filled with strong characters (literally and figuratively), readers follow a story of love, fear, and the beauty of forgiveness. Wonderful!”
“Katherine Center has done it again with a beautiful story about finding yourself and the road to forgiveness. I couldn’t put it down! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟”
“Her characters are so crisply right and so relatable, you expect them to come knock on your door. Add to that a story line that is both humorous and truly sad. Now throw in the fact that her books draw you in somehow and you don’t even realize time is marching on, or that you are reading. You are there. Right there. I cannot say enough about her writing. This book was just plain enjoyable on all levels. I’m sure you will find it to be the same.”
“Things You Save in a Fire is beautiful story about tragedy, loss, forgiveness and love . . . Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop.”
“I absolutely loved this book!! It pulled on every heart string I have. A book about forgiveness and love. And the ending was wonderful!!”
“Oh my goodness. Five brightly-shining, hopeful, joyful stars. It’s only January and I can already tell this is going to be on my list of favorite books of 2019. Katherine Center, you magnificent woman, you’ve done it again. I think I loved this one even more than I loved How To Walk Away. This is a story of hurt, anger, injustice, forgiveness, love, hope, and an incredibly strong woman. As is her custom, Katherine Center has managed to weave a beautiful story with a powerful message without being heavy-handed or preachy. Brava! I was devastated for this one to end!”
“Such an awesome read. Could not put it down. I was drawn into Cassie’s emotional rollercoaster of her life. I love stories that deal with everyday concerns. I get so lost in the book , I have no idea what is going on around me in everyday life. Katherine took me on that journey. I’ll definitely be reading other novels by Katherine.”
“A good story transports you to places and people you wouldn’t know otherwise, but a great one brings the story to you—makes you see what the characters see, and feel what they feel—you become so immersed in the story you’re not just reading it, you’re actually part of it. Things You Save in a Fire is that kind of novel.”
“What a fantastic read! All the feels in this one and more, had great input on forgiveness!! Even shed a few tears. A definite must read for 2019.”
“This was one of my favorite books of 2018! It was sweet and adorable and I absolutely loved the characters! I found it relatable in ways, as myself and my husband both volunteer for our town’s FD, so there were some references that I appreciated being thrown into the plot. I laughed, I cried and I truly felt all the feels with this novel. If you’re looking for a heartfelt, good feeling read; this is it!”
“I’m so lucky to have read a 5-star read four days into the new year! I actually think this will end up being one of the best books I read all year. . . . The novel sounded good; instead it was absolutely wonderful. It’s always nice when a book is such a pleasant surprise and is even better than you expect!”
“I haven’t been so excited to write a book review in such a long time! Katherine Center has quickly become one of my favorite authors over the past year with her deep messages and relatable characters that leave me drooling for her next book. Things You Save in a Fire is a five star across the board story. It has humor, it has pain, it has edge of your seat suspense, but above all it has an underlying and powerful message about forgiveness. It touches every emotion and makes you feel it deeply rather than just touching lightly on it and moving on. I was laughing, I was crying, I was even stressed and nervous. Only the best authors can take you to so many places and leave you satisfied. Things You Save in a Fire is not a story you ever forget. If we were all just half as empathetic and wonderful as the main character, Cassie, the world would be a much better place.”
“Katherine Center did it again!! “Things You Save in a Fire” is an absolutely wonderful read!! . . . I loved “How to Walk Away” but I think I love this one even more!! Ms Center’s writing style is emotional, familiar and safe. She does such an amazing job of introducing the characters that you feel immediately connected! She has become one of my favorite authors. Do yourself a favor… go buy all her books!! You won’t be disappointed!! Again — Bravo!”
“I had never read anything by this author before but after reading this I think I may go hunt down every book she’s ever written. This book was an incredible journey through pain and suffering and love and loss, and how it shapes who you become. I’m really not even sure how to quite put in words how much I enjoyed this book. The characters were so relatable and I laughed, cried, smiled and become incredibly angry through the pages. An excellent book draws you into the characters and evokes all kinds of emotion, this book goes above and beyond in doing so.”
“Last night I finished Katherine Center’s ARC of Things You Save in a Fire and wow!! Her books have this ability to be light and fun while also touching on some really deep issues and this one really struck a chord with me. . . . Definitely add to your TBR list!! Five stars.”
“Oh my goodness – this is one of the best books I have read in a while! . . . I love the way Katherine Center writes. Her style is so simple, yet detailed, and the story line of this book grips you from the beginning. Her characters display such wide range of emotions—from confusion, to anger, to forgiveness and contentment/happiness, just to name a few. I became emotionally invested in Cassie’s story and finished the book in just over a day. Definitely a must read!
“I read this book in one sitting, and it wasn’t what I thought it would be, it was so much better. The writing was so on-point, it was both heartwarming, a bit humorous and at times quite serious. Yet through it all, it gave me pause to think about human frailties, the good, the bad and even the ugly. Highly recommended.”
“I couldn’t get through this book fast enough. The storytelling is superb. The characters are relatable and deeply developed. I will be recommending this book to everyone!”
“This poignant, beautiful, thought-provoking, emotionally intelligent and timely novel had me laughing and tearing up in equal measures. Indomitable Cassie and goodhearted Owen can’t help but capture your heart and your imagination as surely as they did mine. Whenever I pick up a book by Katherine Center, I know I will invariably find a story full of wit, laugh-out-loud humor and personal insight, written in a melodious, flowing style that pulls me so far in that I forget my surroundings . . . I would have given it six stars out of five – it was such an enjoyable, heartwarming read!”
“This was my first Katherine Center book. Which means I am now a super fan and will read all of her books! This book was wonderfully written . . . It’s a story of forgiveness and love. One that has been told many times, but not quite like this. The story is beautiful. I found myself laughing loudly and also quietly crying. I am so grateful for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion: I LOVED THIS BOOK!”
“Center has mastered the art of writing about emotions without drowning in them and keeping the story moving at a snapping speed so that you can’t put it down. She kept me up into the wee hours of the morning with this one.”
“Things You Save in a Fire, had me laughing and crying, and then upset when someone interrupted my crying. It’s such a wonderful story about love, forgiveness and the power of healing from the things that try to break us as we go through life. Katherine does such a wonderful job of giving us characters to relate to and love, she gives us such a realistic and yet wonderful world to take part it, and then she takes us through an entire emotional roller coaster. I knew I would love this book. I knew because with some authors one book is all you need to know that you are always going to love their work. How to Walk Away was that book for me, and that little cross over that happened here between the 2 books, had me giddy as can be. Silly, I know.”
“Beautiful story. The way the author weaves several layers of love, redemption and forgiveness into the story is breathtaking. As when I finished How To Walk Away, I feel a sense of loss that the story is over and a sense of completion for a story well told!”
“Another great book by Katherine Center! I loved Happiness is for Beginners and How to Walk Away, so when I saw this book on NetGalley, I said a little prayer in hope that I would be approved. I read it over the Thanksgiving weekend and could not put it down. Another 5 star book from her! She writes in a style that is so easy and fun to read and her messages are full of hope and forgiveness. Her words really make me think about ways to make life easier on myself (and others) by learning about yourself and practicing letting things go. It’s well written, funny and very witty. Definitely put this on your TBR list!
“I’m loving this author. She gets better and better. Loved the characters! Loved the story! Did not want to put this down or want it to end. I loved her last book How to Walk Away. This was even better.”
“Absolutely could not put this book down. I loved both Happiness for Beginners and How to Walk Away so I was super excited that St. Martin’s Press sent me an Advanced Readers’ Edition of Things You Save in a Fire. I just love Katherine’s style of writing and her characters’ dialogue is so witty and engaging and often filled with quips of wisdom.”
“This is a fantastic, well written novel about learning to love. It’s the story of someone very strong who needs to learn to live life more fully by accepting the softer parts of life and learning to accept others.”
“This is a friggin fantastic read. I loved it!”
“I loved Cassie. She was complex, nuanced, flawed, and relatable. The ability to write characters whose motivations are so human and understandable is rare, and Center has it down. I appreciated the way she treated gender and feminism in this book, and made it a core issue that she addressed pretty unflinchingly. She also just writes relationships SO WELL. And I appreciated that while a potential romantic relationship was one of the main themes of the book, we also got a lot of focus on other elements of Cassie’s life, like her relationship with her parents, the way she takes care of herself and manages her life, and how awesome she is at what she does. . . . And, as always, Katherine Center is a really good writer. The writing was tight, the pacing was great, there was some solid subtle humor, and the book sucked me in right away – I read the whole thing in an evening. Highly recommend.”
“Katherine Center has written a book that made me laugh, cry and swoon several times over.”
“Katherine Center is such a fabulous author! She has such an amazing skill at plotting a fantastic story, developing characters that are so real and multi-leveled, and drawing out the reader’s emotions. I have read most of her books and totally enjoyed all of them.”
“Love love loved this book!!!! Wonderful, complex characters and such a strong female protagonist. Cassie is a firefighter who leaves Texas to go take care of her mother in Boston. She joins a new firehouse, falls for someone unexpected, and begins a path of forgiveness. This book was just wonderful.”
” *sigh of contentment* I wish this happy place could have lasted a bit longer, but once I pick up one of Katherine Center’s books, I can’t put it down because it is so comfortable and pleasant.”
“I absolutely love Katherine Center’s writing. This book is about a strong young woman, the only female firefighter in her Austin, Texas firehouse. After an “incident” she transfers to Boston to take care of her mother, she finally learns how to forgive and to love. The only problem that I had with this book: I wanted more!”
“I truly loved it. Cassie is my hero!”
“I love the way she creates these hopeful stories while slowly building characters so you develop a kinship and can’t help but root for them. Things You Save in a Fire is a story about hope, perseverance, forgiveness, making tough choices and how all of those things shape who you become.”
“Katherine Center has done it again! Five stars all the way! . . . The resounding theme of this book is forgiveness and it comes in all shapes and sizes. Katherine Center’s creates fun likable characters and her writing style is so enjoyable.”
“If Katherine Center’s husband wasn’t a firefighter, I might start to worry that she had an unhealthy obsession about fire. But even if that were true, I wouldn’t mind because wow can that woman write! I was stuck in such a heavy book fog while reading this one. This book completely wrapped me up and I was engrossed. I couldn’t put it down. I mean every spare moment. I was literally reading while brushing my teeth. This is exactly the kind of book I live for. It was the perfect blend of realistic romance, but with a very unexpected feminism with such a deep and complex protagonist.”
“You will fall in love with Cassie. She is such a strong lead and watching her go through so many changes is incredible. Owen is my new favorite male lead. He is such a gentleman! Enjoyed this book so much!”
“One of the best and most engaging stories I’ve read in a while — with twists and turns the reader likely won’t anticipate. Things You Save In A Fire will not only keep you up all night in page-turning anticipation of what could happen next, but it will also make you think about your choices, relationships,, love, and forgiveness….and what it means to be human. This is truly one of my new favorites!”
“After reading my second of her books, I’m realizing Katherine Center is the kind of author who writes books that absolutely captivate me, and I love her for it . . . This one had so much emotion. I was so into Cassie’s story. At times, it was a hard read because I was so emotionally invested in Cassie’s life – both personal and professional. Also, there were some twists at the end that made it so I literally had to sit down and catch my breath. I mean, y’all, my heart was racing, as I was that into this one.”
“Absolutely loved this novel. Couldn’t put it down!”
“I loved the character of Cassie, the rookie and the practical jokes the other fire fighters played on them at Cassie’s new fire house. While there were definitely some tragedies in this story, the overall feel was more lighthearted and it was fun. I wanted to be at the fire house and wanted to meet all the guys. I truly didn’t want this book to end and found myself hoping there would be a sequel.”
“I absolutely adored this story. The characters are so lovable and the story is so touching. This story has a little bit of everything: friendship, betrayal, love, heartache, and forgiveness.”
“This one just filled me with so much joy, I don’t know how to explain it. But here I go… First and foremost, Katherine’s ability to create such amazing, complex, strong characters is beyond words. I’ve always said that a book is nothing without its characters and these people were my absolute favorite. I loved them from the very first page and I hurt with them and for them, but most of all, I rooted for them and I’m so damn content.”
“This book was so so good. I could barely put it down and when I wasn’t reading I wanted to be! This book is about forgiveness, friendship, betrayal, hardship and so much more! I loved this book and i don’t think you will be disappointed.”
“Katherine Center has done it again. I was so lucky to be given an ARC of her latest masterpiece, “Things You Save in a Fire,” when I was in a very bad spot in my life. As she has in all of her previous novels, Katherine captivated me from page one and didn’t let me go until the final word of the epilogue. She has the rare gift of building a world that is so real and tangible that the reader feels intimately connected to her characters, as if they are old friends . . . Katherine Center’s writing is magical. I cannot recommend this book enough!”
“Awesome book read it in one day definitely a can’t put it down story about forgiveness of not just others but herself and the struggles of being able to learn to trust in herself and others. I cried I yelled and I cried some more (both happy and sad tears) A MUST READ BOOK.”
” I adored this book so much! . . . This book pulled on every heart string I have. A book about forgiveness and love with an amazing ending to boot. 5 of 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️”
“Page after page I fell in love with the story and the characters. Cassie is totally someone I could buddy up with and I had tears forming by the end of the book. This was a wonderful, happy, romantic novel with moments of difficulties that really made me feel close to the characters.”
“I am not usually that into the romance genre but her books are different…there is that element but there is so much more. Her characters are multifaceted and imperfect and she covers some pretty deep issues while still being an enjoyable read. This story was unique and the subtle elements of sexism, past trauma and what forgiveness really means all played a part in making this story so thought-provoking.”
“A great story of how women will fight for all that they have and drop it to start somewhere new to help someone out. Emotional roller coaster with the perfect ending!”
“Katherine Center is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. . . . I try not to read late into the night anymore, but I couldn’t help it with this book. The firefighter culture was interesting, and there were several great twists. It was heartbreaking but also beautiful, and I loved the message of forgiveness.”
Quotes from Things You Save in a Fire