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Fire Dancer

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Description

When a serial arsonist known as The Fire Dancer strikes in the wilds of Arizona, Tess finds herself fighting more than wildfires.

Tess Masterson's parents died in a terrible barn fire. The tragedy drover her to become one of the best smoke jumpers in the business. Though she makes a living jumping out of planes into roaring wildfires, she's never found the courage to face the wounds of her past--or to deal with the anger that flares whenever she encounters Chase Huston.

When a serial arsonist known as The Fire Dancer strikes near her old homeplace in Arizona, Tess must examine her past. Can she confront her own demons and put a stop to the terror that has the area in flames?

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Reading Guides

Reading Group Guide

  1. Tess reluctantly returns home for the first time in twelve years and discovers that her elder sister, Stevie, is seriously ill. She confronts Chase, her foster brother, about not letting her know but he says that if she were a good sister and not so busy running, she would have known. Tess justifies her actions by telling Chase he did not know how many fires she had fought and how many lives she had saved that year. But Chase stands his ground and says he believes it would have been braver for her to have "done her duty by the ones she loved." Do you agree with Chase? (P 25) 
     
  2. Infuriated with Tess, Chase asks Whip whether he was ever jealous that Garrett, and not Whip, inherited the ranch even though he had just as much right to it. Whip says that he is not going to complain about his situation because "a sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones." What do you think makes Whip able to be so sensible in comparison to Tess's mistaken envy of Chase, and Coop's deserved resentment of the Mastertons? (P 27)
     
  3. Tess is immensely jealous of Chase because she believes her father loved him more than her, and that he had taken her place. Stevie on the other hand, wanted a brother and knew that her father yearned for a son. She immediately accepted Chase as her brother, and saw that that Chase gave her father joy. What do you think makes Tess and Stevie react so differently to their father's fostering Chase? (P 48)
     
  4. Justice plays a large role in this book. Coop is driven by the belief that he can only forgive the Mastersons once he has made them pay for their sins. Chase struggles to decide whether he should bail his delinquent brother, Jimmy, out of jail. Tess believes she is pursuing justice in her search for the truth about her parents' death. Buddy Havelin, the owner of the Rim Café, tells Tess that she will come to understand that life is not about what is deserved, but about what is not deserved. Which character in the book do you think had the correct understanding of justice?
     
  5. Stevie wants to believe that God will not give her more than she can handle, but she feels she is at the end of her endurance. Her life is a vicious cycle of tragedy and its unfortunate results. What can be learned from Stevie's life? (P 69)
     
  6. When Chase is crossing the street to the jail to bail Jimmy out, Dr. Tally drives by. He offers Chase a job as his assistant and says he will pay for him to get his veterinary license. The vet tells him he has a gift with animals he should not ignore. But Chase feels he is obligated to help out at the struggling ranch. Do you think it is right to let the circumstances of life prevent the pursuit of using God's gifts to the fullest? (P 83)
     
  7. The grassy field where the barn in which Tess's parents died stands is described as having a healing effect that is almost artistic. Chase supposes it is God the great Physician and Painter's way of "brushing green strokes across the black and bringing new life to what was ruined." How else does God bring healing and new life in the book? (P 105)
     
  8. Buck and Tess narrowly survive the last forest fire in the book by sheltering in the cave in which Coop has been hiding. Once the fire has passed over them, Tess cannot believe she is still alive. She believed she deserved to die for saving her horse instead of her parents. Tess tangibly feels God's mercy and realizes she has been serving God out of fear instead of love. Has there been a time when you tangibly experienced God's mercy? (P 263)
     
  9. Coop eventually captures Tess and Stevie, and sets the new barn on fire with him and the sisters in it. Stevie manages to push Tess out of the barn to safety, but when Tess reaches in to pull her sister out, Stevie launches herself at Coop, who is engulfed in flames. Why do you think Stevie chooses to die rather than be saved? (P 285)
     
  10. Tess feels as if her heart is breaking when she gives up her horse, Wildfire. She believes it is the only way to save the ranch. So it is to her complete surprise and absolute joy when Chase returns Wildfire to her. Have you ever had to give up something precious, only to have it returned you? (P 290)
     
  11. Garrett always told Chase and Tess "a man's family is who he lets into his heart." Tess ironically believes she is Garrett's daughter and that she was replaced in his heart by Chase, "the foster child." What are other examples of how the love of family makes a difference to the lives of characters in the book? (P 292)
     
  12. Upon discovering and proclaiming their love for each other, Chase tells Tess he believes Stevie would want them to grab their happiness with both hands because life is fleeting. "We can't live in fear of what the next day will bring, but we can take each day as it comes and thank God for the privilege of sharing it together," he says. What other valuable life lessons has Tess learned during her summer at the ranch? (P 292)

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Fire Dancer, Colleen Coble
  • Fire Dancer, Colleen Coble

Details

When a serial arsonist known as The Fire Dancer strikes in the wilds of Arizona, Tess finds herself fighting more than wildfires.

Tess Masterson's parents died in a terrible barn fire. The tragedy drover her to become one of the best smoke jumpers in the business. Though she makes a living jumping out of planes into roaring wildfires, she's never found the courage to face the wounds of her past--or to deal with the anger that flares whenever she encounters Chase Huston.

When a serial arsonist known as The Fire Dancer strikes near her old homeplace in Arizona, Tess must examine her past. Can she confront her own demons and put a stop to the terror that has the area in flames?

More Information

Length 304 Pages
Publication Date October 10, 2006
Company
  • Thomas Nelson
ISBN-10 159554139X
ISBN-13 9781595541390
Height 8.3"
Width 5.4"