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Book Review: A Slow Fire Burning

By: Paula Hawkins

3/5 Stars

A quirky timeline and multiple protagonist’s point of view adds just enough confusion throughout the novel to need to be fully awake and alert to read it and know what it going on. Hawkins' use of the multiple POV gives the storyline a fun flair, but I found at times to be semi-confusing especially since the chapters are not labeled with whoms POV is speaking. It look be a solid 50% of the novel to fully know who the characters are and get an inkling feeling on what they may provide in the story.

I gave this novel a 3 because the writing was well done and the storyline was well thought out. It was one of those that sort of went full circle at the end... but not quite. However, I found it extremely confusing to follow along. I also found the ending to be very predictable, but she did leave a few key open ended points that I was kind of just like “why?”. I did like however, how she strung together so many different characters backgrounds into the storyline. Each character played a very distinct role in the book, even if it didn’t seem as such until the end.

Her weaving in snippets from Theo’s “The One Who Got Away” I found to be completely unnecessary and I think the story would have been better told by Miriam herself, instead of the confusion of what was a work of fiction within fiction and what was a work of biography in fiction. I also wish the ending had more of a plot twist and less of a “do the right thing” aspect of it. I do believe that would have made the characters even a little more than interesting.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad novel, but it did take me some time to get through it and I found that a lot of the conclusions could have been crafted better towards the end. If you’re between two books, go with the other one first, then revisit this one.

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