Title: Fire Sermon
Author: Jamie Quatro
Publisher: House of Anansi
Publication Date: January 13, 2018
From House of Anansi: Married twenty years to Thomas and living in Nashville with their two children, Maggie is drawn ineluctably into a passionate affair while still fiercely committed to her husband and family. What begins as a platonic intellectual and spiritual exchange between writer Maggie and poet James gradually transforms into an emotional and erotically-charged bond that challenges Maggie’s sense of loyalty and morality, drawing her deeper into the darkness of desire.
I received an advanced copy of this book from House of Anansi in exchange for my honest review.
My Review: FIRE SERMON is bold, all-consuming, and licentious. Written with a singular eye around a contemporary affair between two people fiercely committed to their families and their faith. Quatro takes an age old story and puts an ultramodern spin on it thru letters, email exchanges, and therapy dialogue – bravo!
Maggie and James lead parallel lives; both married, same age, two children, a boy and a girl of similar age, and both writers. At the apex of consummating their affair Quatro takes us back to Maggie and Thomas’ wedding twenty years earlier. Thomas is a good father and devoted husband but Maggie doesn’t feel a charge in their relationship and the sex is lackluster. She reaches out to theological poet, James, thru letters and email exchanges where they begin a charged relationship that culminates into several physical encounters. Maggie’s lure between sexual desire and spiritual guilt, and her sense of morality and loyalty is palpable.
The subject of this book, infidelity, is cast in an intellectual, literary and near poetic light enrobed in a disintegrating marriage which is no easy feat.