Burnt: A Memoir of Fighting Fire

Abrams. May 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781419763908. $27. MEMOIR
Fire is a force of nature with a will of its own. This image is captured forcefully in this debut written by Frank, a woman who, in the 1980s, became a California firefighter at the age of 17; she left her birthdate blank on her paperwork. In this title, she arranges stories about her career, descriptions of people and places, and reflections in the same chronological way a fire would burn, from ignition to fully developed to decay. She infuses her stories with both introspection and humor. Supporting details shed light on her unconventional upbringing with parents who moved constantly. She depicts her own attraction to firefighting both as a way to have a secure career and as a series of adventurous encounters to test herself and prove her worth to anyone who puts obstacles in her way. She became California’s first woman chief of fire protection. Her own successful attempts to fit into a man-dominated vocation and then to make the service better for everyone ring true. Her thoughts on fighting continuous wildfires today hold relevance as well.
VERDICT Suitable for career collections and all that support fire science, environmental programs, and women’s studies.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing