Who by Fire

My fourth Evergreen book was Fred Stenson’s Who By Fire. It’s the story of one family’s struggles with the oil industry and how the opening of a plant near the family farm changes the course of their lives forever. It’s a great book in and of itself, but reading it so soon after Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything really added another layer to it.

My main issue with Klein’s book was that it was just so large in its scope. In this novel Stenson looks at many of the same issues through the eyes of the Ryder family, really helping me to relate and making it all that much more urgent. At the same time, having read Klein’s book I was aware of the larger overarching effects that the Ryder family could not have been aware of, especially early on in the chronology when they don’t know these things were happening in towns all over the place.

This is one of those books that really made me think about priorities and how far a person can go without compromising their principles. It’s the kind of book that, to be totally honest, I didn’t actually enjoy (by no means was it a ‘fun’ read) but that will stick with me for quite some time. And the ending! Just when you think things are going one way… but I’m not going to give it away. You’ll just have to read it yourself. And I really do mean that, I highly recommend this one.

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