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REVIEW With the Fire on High

With the Fire on High

REVIEW Ô With the Fire on High With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions and do what must be done The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen where she adds a little. With the Fire on High was soft enfolding light as a dusting of snow upon my forehead the kind of novel that deadens the harshness of the world and takes the sting from any barb I floated through the story as if set adrift in a lifeboat on a gently rocking sea Delight sluiced through me and I tingled with the giddy buoyancy of reading a book that made my heart feel like it had grown too large for the confines of my ribs No wonder then that when I turned the last page the entire world seemed to be oversaturated too bright too sharp swallowing the slice of light and returning me abruptly to darknessAcevedo s second novel centers around 17 year old Afro latina Emoni Santiago whose cooking is an instrument of wonder When people taste Emoni s food something deep inside them once misaligned shifts back into its proper place An aspiring chef she dreams of attending culinary school where she can tend her skills through practice and diligence like gardens until they gleamed beneath the sun But now whenever she sought those fantasies her 3 year old daughter s face would not let them take root Raised by her grandmother Gloria whom she calls Buela after her mother died and her father became a figurehead moving in and out of her life with little permanence Emoni is determined to be the best mother she could beWhen Emoni s school announces a new culinary arts class that will culminate in a weeklong apprenticeship in Spain there was a ricochet of feeling in her a tentative swell of hope flinching back toward the firmer ground of hopelessness Emoni is not sure how long she can grasp after the tail end of her dream when so many responsibilities echoed through her mind like the tolling of a bell But Emoni s will has always been unwaveringly strong When she got pregnant and the rumors and the snide remarks came thick as biting flies Emoni pulled her fearlessness forth mantling it like cream on every inch of her skin And she will be just as undaunted in the pursuit of her dreamsWith the Fire on High gripped me from the first couple chapters and I promptly slipped into the sheathing warmth within it Acevedo s voice is resonant warm with a pull to it that reminds me of ocean tides You can tell the author has a strong background in poetry because the way she utilizes language throughout the novel is masterful Her prose so full of lyrical subtlety searing clarity and an understated assuredness scintillates The novel is also separated into sections each of which is introduced with recipes so rich they linger on the tongue it was such a lovely additionThe heart of the book though is motherhood At that it triumphs magnificently With the Fire on High is simultaneously ardent and deferent The graceful sense of sympathy and wonder and along with it a guarded hard won hope are what make this novel dazzle even as a haze of helpless despair begins to creep through the pages More intimate than a diary Emoni s narration wavers between funny and devastating Emoni is strong unyielding and there is a stunning vitality to her her character gleams pearlescent lit up from within and it s a delight to spend time with herThere is tenderness wounded into this book ineffable and aching And there s despair thick in the air as winter mists But through it all threading them together like jewels on a golden string is a torrent of love The bottom falls out of Emoni s dedication for her daughter proving it an abyss its depths unknown She carries her daughter s heart in her chest and even when it seems that she has no hope and no solution she revels in what she has instead a caring grandmother and a healthy child and she fights to protect it from the scolding eyes of everyone elseBut the novel doesn t shy away from the hardships studding Emoni s path so many wants and hopes lap at Emoni in a ceaseless tide but difficult things are thrown her way in clumps and batches unmanageable and messy Acevedo s touch however remains light even when hopelessness encroaches on the story and she surrounds Emoni with an unbending support system which includes Angelica Emoni s ueer best friend Tyrone Emma s dad who is steadily present in his daughter s life and Emoni s Buela with her uiet unremittent love Even Emoni s father a genuinely kind and generous person but who is dogged by the loss of his wife the best of him Emoni says is reserved for strangers but over the course of the novel he learns to extend that benevolence to his own family Emoni also meets Malachi a kind and handsome new student who indefatigably pursues her affections but never crosses her boundaries and Emoni s heart thaws for him regardless of how much she tries to put her veneer of remoteness back firmly in place The romance that blooms between them is not only heart warming but also realisticOverall With the Fire on High is an immensely warm hearted treat that boldly gives voice to young women whose stories are often dismissed as cautionary tales It s a uniue hearty story that you can easily breeze through over a weekend Trust me I binge read most of this book and it was the best therapy session that I ve ever had

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REVIEW Ô With the Fire on High Something magical to everything she cooks turning her food into straight up goodness Still she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain and shou. Flawless Tek Şişman Beyniniz her food into straight up goodness Still she knows she doesn’t Tourniuet have enough time for The Importance of Being Earnest her school’s new culinary arts class doesn’t And Both Were Young have the money for the class’s trip to Spain and shou. Flawless

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REVIEW Ô With the Fire on High Ldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen But even with all the rules she has for her life and all the rules everyone expects her to play by once Emoni starts cooking her only real choice is to let her talent break fre. Please check out Johely s amazing ownvoices review And so at the age of four I learned someone could cry from a happy memory With the Fire on High is an ownvoices story following an Afro Latinx main character named Emoni Emoni is a young mom who got pregnant her freshman year of high school but this book takes place during her senior year and her school just opened up registration for a culinary class Emoni has loved cooking and crafting recipes her entire life but she is apprehensive to sign up for the new class because at the end of the year there is a trip to Spain that she doesn t think that she can afford Emoni lives with her abuela and even though her daughter s father is in her daughter s life he does not help out with expenses and money is very tight along with Emoni s free time She is always working part time at a burger joint and for sure doesn t have time to even think about dating until a new boy comes to the school and joins the brand new culinary class Elizabeth Acevedo s writing is just on another level Her passages and one liners leave me breathless and speechless You can tell that she puts her entire heart and soul into every line she delivers and it just makes this entire book shines so very brightly And the themes from being a young parent and motherhood and what it means to be both of those things when people judge you for them constantly To how sometimes family aren t able to be what you wish they were whether that means closer in distance andor support To being mixed race and how Emoni s Puerto Rican half will never erase her Black half regardless of what ignorant people choose to say The whole of me is whole This is a story about connecting with your cultures and loving all of the parts of yourself through food and through family and it s honestly so expertly done and so beautifully executed Reading this entire story made me crave so many of the recipes that Emoni was making but it made me crave my family s food and company so very fiercely Upon finishing I actually went to the store came home and made Pancit and felt so very happy and so very wholeOverall this is just such a beautiful book with such a beautiful message From feeling the closeness to Emoni both naturally and her trying her hardest to seeing the closeness of a community come together it just made for such a powerful read and really left me feeling every emotion Elizabeth Acevedo is a gift to the world and I can t wait to read everything she will ever write Blog Instagram Twitter Tumblr Youtube TwitchContent and Trigger Warnings Abandonment loss of a loved one in the past medical anxietyscares talk of abortion underage drinking and use of the word gpsy that is 100% completely challenged

  • ebook
  • 400
  • With the Fire on High
  • Elizabeth Acevedo
  • en
  • 04 September 2019
  • 9780062662859