Title: On Burning Mirrors
Author: Jamie Klinger-Krebs
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 398 Pages
Category: Lesbian Fiction
At a Glance: On Burning Mirrors was a great read, and for once created an entire story that was not isolated on one facet of a character.
Reviewed By: Courtney Ellen
Blurb: Jules Kanter is a wife, a mother and a successful journalist; but she’s completely fallen for the subject of her latest story–a talented musician/bartender named Erin. While plagued with guilt over her affair with another woman, and terrified of hurting everyone she loves, Jules pours her emotions into her writing. But, she never imagined her words would be discovered when she wasn’t there to explain them.
Following Jules’ tragic death her husband, Will, learns of her affair and uncovers a letter Jules had written to herself, as well as the article she had been writing about Erin–a story Erin doesn’t know exists. Desperate to understand how his wife could be involved in a same-sex affair, he tracks Erin down and the pair soon begins to understand just how much Jules hid from them both. Although neither will ever really know what Jules was planning to do, through their shared grief Will and Erin are forced to recognize who they were with Jules, and the people they need to become without her.
Review: I’ve spent the last sixteen hours binging On Burning Mirrors. It’s a good book that engrossed me. So, engrossing I even turned off the episode of Murder She Wrote where Jessica is a senator, my favorite. This is a story that follows Erin and Will after the unexpected and tragic death of Jules, who was Erin’s lover for the last year and Will’s wife for over a decade. It is told in the present but interspersed with flashbacks by Erin and Will which relate the details of the relationship that Jules had with both. Will is trying to come to terms with both grief and anger at Jules for her infidelity, and Erin is trying to understand if she and Jules really had a mutual loving relationship, or if the relationship was motivated by professional ulterior motives.
The writing is good and better yet, the story is compelling because it doesn’t require an extended use of willing suspension of disbelief. It’s a story that is messy and complicated and deals with a lot of issues that are not always clear cut, but this is what makes it realistic. It is about grief, infidelity, sexuality, family obligations, and flawed people. The long list of topics is a pro for me; after a summer of binging on lesbian fiction that is one-dimensional and about sexuality only, I embraced this mature piece. It is a full novel that creates characters and a story that goes beyond one dimension, looking at life and its not always clear-cut entanglements. It’s a nice deviation because it acknowledges that Jules had a family, a career she was focused on, and then also had to come to terms with her sexuality later in life, meaning it is not an easy choice to simply scream, “Follow your heart!”
I would argue the character flaws are the strength of the story, none of the main characters are worthy of spite, but all have made flawed choices at one point. I was most impressed by how Klinger-Krebs articulates the swirling emotions that accompany grief—love, anger, and confusion, which is made possible by identifying the flaws in the now deceased Jules without demonizing her. I do have to applaud Klinger-Krebs’ ability to create a pseudo first-person point of view for the deceased Jules through Jules’ newspaper articles and writings. This is clearly done with Klinger-Krebs’ own experience in journalistic writing, as the style of Jules’ voice stood out to me as being unique and in character.
Overall, I felt On Burning Mirrors was a great read, and for once created an entire story that was not isolated on one facet of a character. For once, this is a story that addresses lots of things with lesbian sexuality as one of those elements in a life filled with other things.
You can buy On Burning Mirrors here:
[zilla_button url=”http://authl.it/B07CK2HYVW?d” style=”blue” size=”large” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon/Kindle Unlimited [/zilla_button]