Fire & Water is a dark story of passion, family secrets, and the enduring power of friendship. Katherine Murphy, a pediatric surgeon in San Francisco's premier medical center, UCSF, was raised in the ironic protection of her father's Irish pub by a patchwork family formed of misfits and orphans. She is book-brilliant, but unwise in the ways of love and life. When genuine love and deep passion present themselves in the form of Jake Bloom, a renowned "artist of the immediate", she is in far too deep before she discovers the treacherous dark side of his creative genius.
Only her shoot-from-the-lip friend Mary K sees past Jake's initial charms, but by then Kate's life has been indelibly altered. As Jake spirals into the depths of his mental illness, Kate is faced with previously unthinkable choices that demand her to search her soul and find her own true north.
This is a story that redefines what family really means and proves that love is always a matter of life and death.
©2014 Betsy Graziani Fasbinder (P)2014 Betsy Graziani Fasbinder
I ended up loving this book, though I have to admit that it started out a little slow for me. What kept me with it are the wonderful characters this author created. And then I just couldn't stop listening, the story then completely won me over. It's very important in a novel told in the first person that you like that person, or at least are willing to spend 12 hours of your like with that person. Kate is very believable, both in her virtues and her faults. I also like when an author writes a child, in this case a 5 year-old, who uses age-appropriate language and doesn't come off as a miniature adult.
Monica McKey does a great job with the voices. I especially liked her Jake Bloom, who is a very complex character and required some finesse to manifest. Mary K was also well voiced. I hope Ms. McKey plans on reading more audio books, as I think she is very good with the accents.
If you like car chases and bombs exploding DO NOT buy this book. It is very thoughtful and literary. The writing is beautiful in itself, but the story that writing conveys will take you to new and unexpected places. Enjoy.
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The book itself was done well with its cast of characters, but the audiobook brought it to life by giving all of the characters their different voices and accents. The voice actress, Monica McKey, did an awesome job keeping the characters separate. She definitely made this audiobook.
I was listening to this on my commute to work each morning. My husband usually calls me during his break and we talk about what's going on during our day. While listening to this book, it was all I talked about. It did an amazing job of keeping me captivated by the story.
One thing I particularly enjoyed was that it took a subject matter that most books avoid, mental health, and showed the struggles of the people closest to the person affected. In this case you have his wife, child, best friend, father, and his wife's family. It's a fairly large cast of characters, but they were easy to follow along with and each of them served a purpose in the story without being a filler character.
The only real issue I had was there were some parts of the story that the actresses breathing was particularly heavy, without it fitting in to the book, and it was a distraction for me.
I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, but I was very pleased with it. This is a story that will stick with me for a long time. 5/5 Platypires
I wouldn't really call my experience "enjoyable" . Though I thought the book was excellent I found myself crying more than once while listening to this sad tale of a family struggling with mental illness.
Nate. My heart broke for him. I get a lump in my throat just thinking about his torment. He was such a kind hearted soul.
Every character performed by Monica was my favorite ! She did a fantastic job.
It was and I did !
This book was great even though it made me cry.
I am an artist who has represented artists for 20 years. In this time of retirement -I enjoy the quiet and the chance to work on my own art
the characters were genuine and though the story is complex it was not difficult to follow.
Mental illness and its ripple effects showed the extent of how mental illness determines
the relationships with all around. And how in the times of calm we want to believe there will be no future explosions.
I thought she was excellent-i loved her speaking in the voice of Mary Kay.
I read some reviews about timing and her sounds at times becoming a distraction.
I did not experience her that way. I would love to see the book she is reading from.
How she can move from one voice to another. How she seems always aware of the
character entering each scene.
I am not a an experienced audio book reader and i can see the advantages of that.,
i can hear it with out critiquing it.
Mary Kay . She show's a sense of reality And IT IS WHAT IT IS way of facing her
diabetes 1 .and her being able to ask to be alone after she learns the outcome of her surgery.
The parts that were difficult for me is when Jake carried out projects-so similar to
Andy Goldsworthy. In Jake there seemed to be a confrontation response to those who wished for the beauty to remain.
I see this was addressed in the credits-but that was at the end of the story.
Some books are ruined by the narration, but this one is enhanced by it. While it's a good love story with the unusual backdrop of hospitals, doctors and artists, Monica McKey's ability to make the characters come alive makes it fabulous. She is so talented with the different voices and accents that at times I forgot the voices were all coming from the same narrator. Monica's voice is soothing and resonant with great timbre. Easy to listen to.
Yes I would! Good story -- different -- and entertaining with all the characters coming alive as it's read.
When Murphy finally slams back at Mary Kay after Mary Kay disses her new lover. Also the scene in the Irish pub with her dad and the guy gets drunk. Then she learns bad news that changes things for her.
A tale that unravels with grace amidst danger.
Nicely conceived and executed book with narration that partners with the plot seamlessly.
I'm a 40-something SAH mom who has come to "read" more audio books each year. They work better as my days are active and mobile.
This book ranks fairly high, though I was surprised by the seriousness of the story. I didn't pick up the heart-stopping elements of this book from the blurb, but I am glad to have stuck with the story to the end. I had thought of putting this book down for a while, but didn't.
I would be cautious purchasing another book narrated by Ms. McKey. In significant portions of this book, she had uncalled-for heavy breathing and distracting mouth noises. At times, it seemed as if she was reading after just having run some miles and hadn't yet had a chance to catch her breath.
The same as the tag line on the book: Art, Love, Passion and Madness
The many reviewers that have rated this book 4- and 5-stars are not exaggerating their ratings. I am skeptical when a book or audio book receives an incredibly disproportionate number of high ratings, but this book earned them! I volunteered to listen to this audio book for review through Audiobook Jukebox with the agreement of providing a honest review. I will keep this review spoiler-free. If you are interested in a book summary, please refer to the book blurb or the reviews of other readers that are not spoiler-free.
This love story is a bit dark. Fire & Water took me by surprise, because even though I had read the book blurb, I hadn't read other reviews of this book, so, I went in knowing little about the story. I was unprepared for the harsh moments of love to a manic depressive. Ms. Fasbinder has a wonderful way with words, poetic in description, tender in close moments, harsh in darker moments. When the title includes "art, love passion and madness", how can your interest not be touched?
While I would consider this novel a woman's novel, I wouldn't call it chick-lit because when I think of chick-lit, I think of a light-hearted story, typically with a HEA and easily resolved conflicts. This is not that. This is a well-written easy-to-read character novel that will bring you to heights of love and unanticipated depths of love as well. It will bring you from the euphoria a new love to the heart-breaking reality of how a broken person affects all of those who love him, sinking loved one by blind sided heart ache. This is not an ordinary, easily forgotten novel. This is not a quick lunch at the nearby fast-food joint, but a multi-course epicurean gourmet for the senses at a fine five-star restaurant. The nuances of each layer of flavor will catch you by pleasant surprise.
Monica McKey narrated the audio book, about 12 and a half hours in length for the slightly more than 400-page book. She did a superb job giving distinctive voices and relevant accents to each character and adding the emotion called for by the scene to her voice. Her reading pace was good. Unfortunately, the recording had a empty-room hollowness about it. Also, there were many and long portions of the story in which the reader had heavy breathing in her reading, which was uncalled-for by the scenes, or her mid-sentence pauses were unusually long (chapter-change long, not comma-pause long), or the reader had dry-mouth, audible mouth noises. While I have high regard for both narrators and audio book production teams that make you forget you are listening to a production, in this case, one is often pulled out of the story because of these distractions.
I would recommend this book, but know that Ms Fasbinder will play with your emotions, tugging, pushing, pulling, leaving you unexpectedly moved.
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