Book #67 of 2020 | With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Title: With the Fire on High

Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Thoughts: Holy smokes Elizabeth Acevedo has done it again. This book, y’all. Almost 400 pages and I finished in less than 24 hours—there’s just something about Acevedo’s writing that is so intensely readable, so lyrical, it grabs a hold of you and holds on tight, and you physically can’t get up off the couch until you’ve finished the entire book. I loved this book for so many reasons. It reminds us how family is integral in telling us where we come from. While reading this book, I couldn’t help but feel connected to the main character, Emoni, and her love of cooking for others. Like Emoni, I love cooking (and baking!) for others because it’s such a physical, tangible way to demonstrate love. I’m not sure I have the same magic touch as she does, but I guess that means I just have to keep baking, right? Anyway, read this book. It’s magical and wonderful and heart-warming and soul-fulfilling.

Favorite Lines:
“‘Taking risks and making choices in spite of fear—it’s what makes our life story compelling.'” (p. 41)

“The world is a turntable that never stops spinning; as humans we merely choose the tracks we want to sit out and the ones that inspire us to dance.” (p. 60)

“One of the first things you ask and learn about someone is where they stay. Where we come from leaves its fingerprints all over us, and if you know how to read the signs of a place, you know a little bit more about who someone is.” (p. 87)

“I don’t know much about pathogens and storing sugar, but damn if I don’t know how to cook good food that makes people hungry for more, that makes people remember food is meant to feed more than an empty belly. It’s also meant to nourish your heart.” (p. 93)

“There’s so much I want for her that someones I think the seams of my skin aren’t enough to contain every hope I have for her.” (p. 205)

“‘Girl, it’s time to step into your own light and stop being afraid.'” (p. 368)

“Although my food still doesn’t give me any memories, it has always been looking back; it’s infused with the people I come from. But it’s also a way for me to look forward: to watch the recipes that from my roots transform, grow, and feed the hungriest places inside of me.” (p. 382)

“Who would I be if you were not? What are my stories if not but a continuation of the threads you unspooled? What do I owe you if not everything? And yet, you remind me time and again I owe you nothing but this honest, brave, full self.” (p. 392, Acknowledgements)

Click here to purchase With the Fire on High

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