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Jules Kanter is a wife, a mother and a successful journalist; but she’s completely fallen for a talented musician/bartender named Erin. Plagued with guilt over her affair and afraid of hurting everyone she loves, Jules pours her emotions into her writing. But, she never imagined her words would be discovered when she couldn’t explain them.
On Burning Mirrors by Jamie Klinger-Krebs is a story about individuals who have to come to terms with a hard truth, whether it’s about themselves or someone they loved. Forty-year-old Jules Kanter was a gifted long-time editor and Journal Sentinel columnist who was tragically killed in a car accident on a snowy January night. She left a husband, Will, and a six-year-old daughter, Jillian. The grief-stricken Will tries hard to move on until he discovers that Jules was having an affair with Erin, a talented musician who lost her career in Nashville and became a bartender. When Will confronts Erin, it dawns on both of them that there’s more to Jules than they’ll ever know. They both learn to get to know her all over again through each other, her secret letters to herself and an unpublished column.
The chemistry, depth, and warmth of the characters resonate through the pages as easily as their anger, sadness, and sense of betrayal. The portrayals of Jules, Will, and Erin are realistic, never turning into pure melodrama. I knew several people who I can easily put in Jules’ place, good people who betrayed their loved ones not because they were bad people or wanted to hurt anyone, but because they finally had the courage to pursue what they really wanted in life－to put it simply, they were ‘Jules’. On Burning Mirrors is a deeply thought-provoking and affecting story that will linger in readers’ mind for quite some time. Issues such as sexual prejudice, addictions, social stigma, and mental health are dealt with quite well. All in all, a worthy read.
– Lit Amri for Readers’ Favorite
Jules Kanter and Erin Quinn are lovers. But although the two women enjoy each other’s company, Jules is married to William, with whom she has a child. Jules also works for a major newspaper in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and her presence in public with someone other than her spouse could be problematic for her career. The relationship ends abruptly one snowy evening, however, when Jules is killed in a car accident. Eventually, William, a recovering alcoholic, finds out about the affair and confronts Erin in the bar where she works. But the confrontation, though heated, is moot; Jules is dead, so what does William want from Erin? What had Jules wanted from her? And what does Erin, who was once a rising music star in Nashville, Tennessee, want now that she has no real reason to stay in Milwaukee? The novel considers these questions, weaving them together with the characters’ pasts to create a love triangle of flawed people making flawed decisions. The death of Jules near the beginning of the story makes for an unusual setup, though, and as readers watch William figure out that his wife was cheating on him–thanks, mostly, to information on Jules’ cellphone–any sense of tension surrounding the affair is extinguished. Instead, what pushes the story forward is the question of what those left behind will manage to do without Jules–a pressing and ultimately rewarding exploration. Klinger-Krebs succinctly portrays William’s ambivalence, in particular; after discovering his wife’s affair, William expresses, rather adroitly, that “as much as I hate her right now, I loved her one hundred times more.” Indeed, the book is at its best when it explores the mixed feelings that make relationships what they are.
What this story lacks in suspense, it makes up with an honest investigation of love and loss.
– Kirkus Reviews