Out of the Fire


282 pages
ISBN 1-894549-09-0
DDC C813'.6





Reviewed by Dave Jenkinson

Dave Jenkinson is a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba and the author of the “Portraits” section of Emergency Librarian.


At its simplest level, Froese’s first young-adult novel relates the
story of Dayle Meryk, 17, who, following a near-fatal accident at a teen
bush party near her home community of Selkirk, Manitoba, is recovering
in a Winnipeg hospital from burns to 45 per cent of her body. At its
more complex level, Froese effectively and engagingly interweaves
several subplots involving friendships and family relationships into the
main storyline. For example, immediately before the accident, Dayle had
seemingly terminated her longtime friendship with Amy Frost by focusing
on her four-month romance with Keith Hutton. Still grieving the recent
death of her beloved Gran, Dayle discovers many meanings in one of
Gran’s favorite expressions, “[f]riendship outlasts romance.”

Well researched, the novel reveals the treatment protocols for burn
victims without over- burdening readers with technical details.
Dayle’s emotional responses to her situation ring true, especially as
they relate to Pete, the person she blames for the accident; Dayle’s
final altruistic decision, though, may push the credibility envelope for
some readers. Froese opens most chapters with a date, commencing with
May 16, making the story’s timeline easy to track. A brief epilogue,
dated May 31 of the following year, offers final closure to the story.
Highly recommended.


Froese, Deborah., “Out of the Fire,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 22, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/21783.