The Last Fire Season: A Personal and Pyronatural History

Books on Tape. Jan. 2024. 13:10 hrs. ISBN 9780593786161. $66.50. MEMOIR
Writer and editor Martin (coauthor of Fruit Trees for Every Garden) offers an insightful memoir describing her experiences living in Northern California during 2020’s devastating wildfire season. Partly motivated by Martin’s health crisis, she and her partner moved from the city to a house on a hill in the Sonoma woods in 2017, a few years before the fire season intensified. Martin chronicles the devastation wrought by the fires, capturing the fear and uncertainty of living during this time while working through her own healing and recovery. Martin interweaves a history of the land, reflections on climate change, and discussions of Indigenous fire control practices into her memoir, arguing that people must now live with fire throughout the year, not just during fire season. Narrating her own account, Martin’s tone is pleasant and well-paced. Listeners will sense her urgency and concern as she recounts details of her life during the fires.
VERDICT Martin’s memoir about living through and emerging from devastation, together with her reflections on history and climate change make for a rich and timely listen.
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