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What Burns Away - Melissa Falcon Field - <span class="date-display-single">03/11/2015 - 7:00pm</span>

What Burns Away

03/11/2015 - 7:00pm

Central Library - Community Room 302

Melissa Falcon Field alights on the literary fiction scene with her debut novel, What Burns Away, a sizzling and compelling story about new mom Claire Spruce, whose high school sweetheart resurfaces via social media at a vulnerable time in Claire’s life. With Dean’s reappearance, Claire must approach a crossroads in her life that she wasn’t aware she’d reached.


Claire’s husband, Miles, a career-driven cardiac surgeon, is usually hospital-bound when she most needs his support as she faces the daily challenges of raising the couple’s young son and trying to settle into a life in frigid Wisconsin as a reluctant Eastern seacoast transplant. After having put her own blossoming career on hold to grow her new family and help her husband follow his dream halfway across the country, Claire finds herself often alone with her thoughts, both inspired and haunted by her old intrigues: fire, flame, and all that burns. Not only has she studied the elements as a postgrad professional, but early conflicts surrounding her parents’ marriage and Claire’s first love are tied to them too. This makes it all the more difficult for Claire to ignore the Facebook message she receives from her high school sweetheart on the morning of her fortieth birthday.  


Dean’s harmless request offers an intoxicating, reckless escape from the monotony of motherhood. Their flirtatious emails and messages enchant Claire, who’s yearning to rediscover her own mislaid identity. But when Dean arrives on her doorstep as a full-grown man with an agenda, she soon learns that his reappearance isn’t a coincidence. And when Claire agrees to repay him a favor, she finds out that her life is about to quickly explode.   


With deft lyrical prose and the right amount of dramatic suspense, debut novelist Melissa Falcon Field expertly weaves a story that will hit close to home for today’s parents, challenging the reader’s understanding of a new mother’s complicated feelings about herself, her child, her partner, her past, and her future.

Melissa Falcon Field

About Presenter Melissa Falcon Field


Melissa Falcon Field earned her MFA in Fiction Writing from Texas State University. She has been a recipient of the Katherine Anne Porter Writer- in- Residence appointment and attended the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. For nearly a decade, she worked with Teach for America and AmeriCorps, in New York, Boston and San Francisco, as an inner city schoolteacher and helped pioneer the YEAR UP writing curriculum used nationally. She has taught Creative Writing at small colleges across the country, and currently works as an instructor at The Madison Writers’ Studio. Her writing has appeared in literary magazines and journals, including: Hip Momma: The Parenting Zine, Kaliope Literary Journal, The Portland Phoenix, Across Curriculums, The Austin American Statesmen, The Ballantine Books Reader’s Circle, The Hartford Courant and The Maine Scholar.  She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her young son, her husband and three chickens. What Burns Away is her debut novel.


What Burns Away

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