The Smoke Jumper by Nicholas Evans

9282Fiction — print. Dell Book, 2001. 560 pgs. Purchased.

Connor Ford and Ed Tully jump from airplanes and fight fires side by side in Montana’s mountains. This fateful summer, though, Ed brings his girlfriend, Julia Bishop, along with him and Connor finds himself braving the flames to save the woman he loves but knows he cannot have.

After the fire’s disastrous path through their lives, Connor leaves the land he loves and travels around the world taking photos of the world’s worst wars. The photographs brings him fame, but never happiness while Julia struggles to balance the happiness she has and the happiness she knows she could have had.

There’s a lot of guilt in this novel. So much guilt that guilt almost becomes the only two things holding these separate tales together. One tale is about smoke jumpers and their struggles; the other book is about a man who travels the world to forget the women he loves but cannot have. Because of this, the book seemed to drag on forever.

What’s more, I had a hard time taking this tale seriously because Evans misspelled the name of both the town I live in and the town next to us.  I know it’s a novel, but it is supposed to take place in real places — real places that I know and loved.

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