This is a fabulous novel by Anita Shreve! She began with the truth of the largest fire in Maine's history, and spun her story of a young mother finding herself around that. In October 1947, after a summer-long drought, fires break out all along the Maine coast, racing out of control from village to village. At 24, Grace Holland and her two toddlers are home alone because her husband has gone to fight the fire. She saves herself and the children by huddling together under a blanket in the sea overnight. They emerge to a changed world. They are now penniless, homeless, left in a town that no longer exists. Grace must learn to rely on herself - to drive, to find a home, a job, a way to care for the children while all these other things happen. She finds a freedom and her own strength in the aftermath of the catastrophe. Little does she know, her greatest test still lies ahead. A fantastic read. Highly recommended.