Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fireworks over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff

Every so often that story comes along that reminds us of what it’s like to experience love for the first time—against the odds, when you least expect it, and with such passion that it completely changes you forever.

An unexpected discovery takes eighty-four-year-old Lily Davis Woodward to 1945, and the five days that forever changed her life. Married for only a week before her husband was sent to fight in WWII, Lily is anxious for his return, and the chance to begin their life together. In honor of the soldiers' homecoming, the small Georgia town of Toccoa plans a big celebration. And Jake Russo, a handsome Italian immigrant, also back from war, is responsible for the elaborate fireworks display the town commissioned. But after a chance encounter in a star-lit field, he steals Lily's heart and soul--and fulfills her in ways her socially-minded, upper-class family cannot. Now, torn by duty to society and her husband--and the poor, passionate man who might be her only true love--Lily must choose between a commitment she's already made and a love she’s never known before.

Fireworks Over Toccoa takes us to a moment in time that will resonate with readers long after the book’s unforgettable conclusion. A devastating and poignant story, this debut novel will resonate with anyone who believes in love.

This was promoted as in the spirit of Nicholas Sparks. I've never read one of his novels but had seen a few movie versions of his books so I thought why not. I'm also trying to expand my reading horizons so I thought this might open me up to a whole new type of story.

I rather liked Fireworks over Toccoa, it was a simple story spanning only a few days but also spanning decades, I love the idea of something in the present pulling you into the story and going back and learning what had happened all those years ago.

I like both Lily and Jake, Lily especially because we learn more about her. Her journey is very honest and true to heart. She goes for what she wants but also realizes her responsibilities, I think Stepakoff balances that line very well.

I tend to shy away from stories told in the past because they seem to revolve greatly around things I'm not so familiar with but I loved how Fireworks over Toccoa used the 1940s to accentuate Lily and Jake's story. It made it much more powerful to be in this certain time period with these certain values and expectations.

What I also liked about the book was it doesn't leave the reader hanging as to what happens, it's wrapped up all nicely with a bow at the end which sometimes is really nice to have and this book did just that!

Fireworks over Toccoa will be released on March 30th
Genre: Contemporary Romance
4/5 Stars
ARC provided by Amazon Vine


  1. Looks like this was a great one for your new romance with romance!

  2. Great review, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Woohoo! I got a copy of this at ALA and am now really looking forward to reading it!

  4. Nice review! I've never heard of this, but now I'm very interested.

  5. Really interesting blog here, and your name just caught my eye, it's a catchy name y'know.

  6. I've got a copy of this one, but am not a fan of Nicholas Sparks, so it's made me hesitate. However, your review gives me more confidence!

  7. Anonymous1:49 PM

    Technology truly has become completely integrated to our existence, and I am fairly certain that we have passed the point of no return in our relationship with technology.

    I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Ethical concerns aside... I just hope that as the price of memory decreases, the possibility of uploading our brains onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's one of the things I really wish I could see in my lifetime.

    (Posted on Nintendo DS running [url=]R4i[/url] DS Ting2)

  8. Anonymous1:29 AM

    nice post. thanks.

  9. Congratulations to Fireworks Over Toccoa being chosen as an Okra Pick -


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