Refining Fire By Tracie Peterson

In the late 1800’s the utmost on most girl’s minds was getting married, but not twenty-two year old Militine. In fact she never wants to marry. Yet her home is the Madison Bridal School in Seattle Washington. The three sisters who run the school have taken her in and provide for her in every way. They “think” they are also preparing her for marriage. Their niece, Abrianna, is of the same mind as Militine. Her desire is to serve God and help others, not find a husband. The two are best friends except in the area of God. Militine shuns Him as much as Abrianna embraces Him. Militine has secrets that keep her from trusting anyone, including the Lord and fearful her past may resurface at any time.
Thane and Wade are two upstanding young men that Abrianna’s aunts trust explicitly. They help around the school and are also good friends of the two girls. Thane also carries a dark and painful past of his own. Militine and Thane begin to build a relationship. Is it possible with their personal problems and lack of faith in God?
Abrianna secretly sets up a soup kitchen on skid row to help those in need. She throws all her heart into it, dragging the other 3 along as unwilling partners. Little did she know how this would affect each of their lives. Together the four face dangerous criminal situations and a massive city fire.
I was fascinated to learn historical information about fire departments during that time. I knew they were far from what we have now, but I never realized how helpless firemen were in these emergency situations.
Militine and Thane’s story reminded me so much of when people cannot understand how God is love when bad things have happened to them. I loved the way the author works through the characters bring about understanding.
I loved Abrianna’s spit fire courage and desire to follow the Lord completely. Her no nonsense, determined personality was frustrating to her friends, but she got things done. In her eyes, no sacrifice was too great nor any obstacle to large for her to follow through with what God had shown her. I wish more of us were like that.
The story is like a roller coaster. There is calm and sweetness, then the suspense builds until the reader is caught off guard by unexpected turns. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
I received a copy of this book free from Bethany House, a division of Baker Books as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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