Wilderness. Action. Adventure. Romance. An epic story spanning decades and continents, The Smoke Jumper has it all, making it an appealing read for many different types of readers.
Smoke jumpers are wildland firefighters who risk their lives by parachuting onto the scene of uncontrollable wildfires, providing leadership and tactical knowledge of how to work against the conditions to save lives. Smokejumpers Ed Tully and Connor Ford are best friends. When Julia Bishop, a social worker, enters the picture, the two men find themselves in love with the same woman.
“The important things in life never happened by accident. But even with those things that were meant to be, sometimes you had to wait awhile and then maybe give them a little nudge.”Nicholas Evans, The Smoke Jumper
I enjoyed the character development, and the sprawling storyline in this 500+ page novel kept my interest. The unrequited love story was well done, although there were a few moments along the way that didn’t ring true to one of the characters.
Published more than two decades ago, I am beyond late to the party with reading this book. However late, I am grateful to have been introduced to Nicholas Evans, who also penned best-selling novels such as The Horse Whisperer and The Loop. The characters in The Smoke Jumper, especially the loyal, heroic Connor, will stay with me for a while.
Although Evans uses familiar tropes like a love triangle in The Smoke Jumper, he weaves those plot devices with unforgettable characters, compelling descriptions of the lands, and enough unique circumstances to make it feel fresh. Even decades later, the storyline endures.
I plan to read all of the Nicholas Evans books I can get my hands on. In fact, I jumped right into reading The Loop right after this one!