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Tuesday, November 10, 2020

A Frenzy of Sparks by Kristin Fields

A Frenzy of Sparks by Kristin Fields
Published by Lake Union Publishing ISBN 9781542022446
Trade paperback, $14.95, 272 pages (The ebook is free if you have Kindle Unlimited)

Sometimes a book grabs you right away, and at other times your interest builds more slowly until you realize how consumed you have become by the story and you can't put it down. Kristin Fields' new novel, A Frenzy of Sparks, fell into the latter category for me.

In 1965 Gia is thirteen years old living in Howard Beach near a marsh with her older brother Leo and their parents. Her dad Eddie is an NYPD police officer, mom Agnes works outside the home as well. Much of Gia's family- aunts, uncles, cousins- live in the same neighborhood and they spend all their free time together.

Gia is interested in nature and science, and concerned about the chemicals ever present in the food and environment. Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring is her bible. She loves to go out on her dad's boat on the canal behind her house, and begs her dad to let her take the boat out by herself. Agnes would prefer now that Gia is getting older, that she should be more interested in traditional female pursuits, like Gia's cousin Lorraine.

It's a time of change in the country, and Gia's older cousin Ray has been experimenting with drugs, and selling them as well. He gets involved with some shady characters, and that will cause problems for more than just himself.

"People were sick of being told what to do", according to Gia. Black kids couldn't sit on a stoop without someone causing problems for them. Women were "trapped under their bell jars", like Lorraine who studied to be a nurse but wanted to become a doctor, and her mother Diane who worked in the navy yard during WWII, only to be sent home once the men returned from war.

The second half of the book deals with the fallout of having a drug addict living in your home. They lie, steal from family members, destroy trust, and break down the family unit. There are some very intense scenes revolving around the drug addict, and the frightening ways addiction spirals downward for all.

Several times reading this powerful novel I found myself closing my eyes and saying "oh, no" out loud. Fields puts the reader right inside this family, and your heart alternately pounds and breaks as they fight to save the life of their loved one and their family unit.

Fans of Delia Owens' blockbuster Where the Crawdads Sing should make A Frenzy of Sparks their next read. It has the similiar elements of a nature-loving girl facing danger that keeps the reader turning the pages. I highly recommend it.

Thanks to TLC Tours for putting me on Kristin Fields tour. The rest of her stops are here:

Monday, November 2nd: @shobizreads

Tuesday, November 3rd: The OC Book Girl and @theocbookgirl

Wednesday, November 4th: @booksloveandunderstanding

Thursday, November 5th: @compulsivereadersblog

Friday, November 6th: Pacific Northwest Bookworm and @pnwbookworm

Friday, November 6th: 5 Minutes for Mom

Monday, November 9th: Mom Loves Reading and @mom_loves_reading

Tuesday, November 10th: Bookchickdi

Wednesday, November 11th: What is That Book About – author guest post

Thursday, November 12th: Books with Jams and @bookswithjams

Friday, November 13th: Leighellen Landskov and @mommaleighellensbooknook

Monday, November 16th: Books & Bindings

Tuesday, November 17th: Cindy Reads and Writes – review and author Q&A

Wednesday, November 18th: @readtowander

Thursday, November 19th: @welovebigbooksandwecannotlie

Monday, November 23rd: Girl Who Reads

Monday, November 23rd: @readinggirlreviews

Monday, November 30th: Eliot’s Eats

Instagram tour:

Monday, November 16th: @thebookend.diner

Monday, November 16th: @readwithmason

Tuesday, November 17th: @readswithrosie

Wednesday, November 18th: @everlasting.charm

Thursday, November 19th: @the_unwined

Friday, November 20th: @katieneedsabiggerbookshelf

Saturday, November 21st: @readingwithmegan

Sunday, November 22nd: @bluntscissorsbookreviews

Monday, November 23rd: @girlsinbooks

Monday, November 23rd: @amanda.the.bookish

Tuesday, November 24th: @booktimistic

Wednesday, November 25th: @thebookishglow

Friday, November 27th: @readwithjamie



  1. This sounds like one I might enjoy. As I began to read your review, my first thought went to Where the Crawdads Sing and then you mentioned it in your final paragraph! Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Oh this sounds fantastic! Thank you for bein on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours