What Burns Away


By Melissa Falcon Field
ISBN: 9781492604563
Publisher:  SOURCEBOOKS Landmark
Publication Date: 01/06/2015
Format:  Other
Rating:  4 Stars 
Good wife, good mother. That's all Claire Spruce is trying to be, but the never-ending snow in this new town and her workaholic husband are making her crazy. Even the sweet face of her toddler son can't pull her out of the dark places in her head.
Feeling overwhelmed and alone, she reconnects with her long-lost high school boyfriend, Dean, who offers an intoxicating, reckless escape. But Dean's reappearance is not a coincidence. He wants something from Claire-and she soon finds that the cost of repaying an old favor may lead to the destruction of her entire life.
What Burns Away is a story of loyalty, family, and the consequences of the past's inevitable collision with our future.

My Review

A special thank you to  SOURCEBOOKS Landmark and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 
What Burns Away by Melissa Falcon Field is a powerful debut of a middle aged mother; a woman who has lost herself, and the temptation of the past; excitement, a risk –a captivating and intense page-turner of loyalty, forgiveness and atonement. 
Claire Spruce, a mother and wife– she is lonely and feels isolated. Miles, the physician husband provides for his family. He is caught up in his career and Claire does not fit in.
A past, an old flame resurfaces, social media connection, a father’s infidelity, a mother-daughter relationship, marriage, children, motherhood, expectations, careers, anger, resentment, a life without fire, ambition, affection, attachment, isolation, love, the past, the present, the future –what will Claire choose?
Told in the present day with flashbacks to Claire’s teen years, highlighting her time with Dean and her parents. An emotional novel of choices, second chances, secrets, a fairy tale marriage destroyed and a woman who does not see or appreciate what is in front of her. 
Melissa Falcon Field delivers a second coming of age novel, as many readers will connect, as we look back on our life for “an awakening”, as we redefine ourselves both personally and professionally as we move forward. 
What Burns Away dives into a woman’s mind for a suspenseful novel of love and betrayal; the power of the past, for readers young and old. We all experience change as we grow older, as materialistic things which were important to us in the past, have been replaced with more simplistic things, where you learn to live on less without all the baggage. Time is more important. 
Unfortunately as the author mentions, we cannot stop aging – it is a fact of life; however, rather than focus on outside appearances, we have to capture our inner self. This is especially difficult for women, emotionally sometimes; and the author depicts the struggle of past and present, as Claire redefines herself. 
The social media presence in the novel is very realistic as couples get bored with their lives and the fantasy of what would have been, and old flames sometimes surface. (the grass is not always greener). Many women will relate to parts of Claire’s character— actions have consequences. 
Fans of literary fiction, women's fiction, and family drama will enjoy this well-written suspense debut novel. The novel would make an ideal selection for book clubs or discussions regarding the different perspectives of characters, and what ifs. 
Review Links:
Jan 2015 Must Reads
Buy the Book 


Please reload

  • Grey Pinterest Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey LinkedIn Icon
  • Grey Tumblr Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon
  • Grey Amazon Icon
  • Goodreads







Back to Main Blog 

Author Guest Blog

Randall Silvis 

Newsletters 2020

July Newsletter

June Newsletter

May Newsletter

April Newsletter

Mar Newsletter

Feb Newsletter

Jan Newsletter

2020 Author

Katherine Center

BA Paris

Robyn Harding

Hannah M. McKinnon

Charles Martin

Jennifer Hillier

D. J.  Palmer

Samantha M. Bailey

Suzanne Redfearn

Christina McDonald

Rochelle B. Weinstein



Megan Collins

Wendy Walker

Lisa Unger

Amber Cowie


John Hart 


2019 Elevator
Author Interviews

JT Ellison

Allen Eskens

A. J. Banner

Linwood Barclay

Gilly Macmillan

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Megan Goldin

Susan Rebecca White

T. Greenwood

Rea Frey

Michele Campbell

Kimberly Belle

Randall Silvis

Charlie Donlea

Kaira Rouda 

Kristy Woodson Harvey

Kim Michele Richardson

Heather Gudenkauf

Camille Di Maio

Christina McDonald

Lynda Cohen Loigman

Sonja Yoerg

2018 Author

Amber Cowie

Karen Katchur

Patti Callahan Henry

Jennifer Jaynes

Mary Kubica

Hank Phillippi Ryan 

Victoria Helen Stone

Rea Frey





Top Books of 2019

Dec Newsletter

Nov Newsletter 

Oct Newsletter 

Sept Newsletter 

Aug Newsletter

July Newsletter

June Newsletter

May Newsletter

Apr Newsletter

Mar Newsletter

Feb Newsletter
Jan Newsletter



5 Year Blog Anniversary 

2018 Top 50 Books  

Dec Newsletter

Nov Newsletter

Oct Newsletter 

Sept Newsletter 

Aug Newsletter

July Newsletter

June Newsletter

May Newsletter 

2017 Year-End



Top Book List 

Top Books of 2020 

Top Books of 2019

Top Books of 2018

Top Books of 2017

Top Books of 2016

Top Books of 2015

Top Books of 2014



Must-Read Books

by Release Month




Recent Posts 
Please reload

Tags -Search By Book
Release Date 
  • Pinterest B&W
  • Twitter B&W
  • LinkedIn B&W
  • Tumblr B&W
  • goodreads.jpg
  • Inistagram Judith D Collins

Subscribe for Updates

© 2020 Judith D Collins Consulting All Rights Reserved 

Website Site Design:  By Judith D Collins