How To Grow

The story Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center is a beautiful book about growing out of the bad things that life throws at you. Cassie Hanwell lives for her life as a firefighter. She is a great firefighter, the calm in a storm, and the one that saves the day. What no one knows about Cassie is her past and what she does to avoid it. Cassie keeps everyone at an arm’s length, she does her job, she goes home and then repeats. Cassie doesn’t have any emotional connections; her coworkers and dad are the closest thing to friends she has. Cassie has a horrible relationship with her mother after she abandoned Cassie on her 16th birthday. One day her mom calls and asks her to drop her life in Austin, Texas and move to New England for no more than a year. Of course, Cassie says no right off the bat, she had her life there in Austin and did not owe her mom anything. With issues at work and her father’s encouragement she goes. Reluctantly she packs up her life and moves in with her mom and joins a new fire department. Here she encounters men who still think women are not supposed to be firefighters. Cassie’s character slowly starts to open up and see world in a new light. She learns that holding people at a distance isn’t a way to keep you safe. Most importantly she learns that forgiveness isn’t just something we give to other people, but we give to ourselves. This book was a great uplifting story about hope. Hope to move on when bad things happen to you and hope to grow because of these things. You can go numb, you can keep people at a distance, but life will always fight its way back in. 

Favorite Quotes – “Choosing to love—despite all the ways that people let you down, and disappear, and break your heart. Knowing everything we know about how hard life is and choosing to love, anyway.. That’s not weakness, that’s courage.”

“Yes, the world is full of unspeakable cruelty. But the answer wasn’t to never feel hope, or bliss, or love-but to savor every fleeting, precious second of those feelings when they came.” 

“That’s just the human condition, sweetheart. We’re always doomed to waste our time”

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