The Firebrand Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Firebrand

Lucy Hathaway is a women's right advocate in the late 1800's who lives in Chicago. She comes from a very wealthy traditional family and is a source of embarrassment to her parents at times regarding her views regarding women's rights. The night of the original Great Chicago fire she meets and propositions Randolph Higgins a wealthy Chicago banker only to find that he is married. Later that night while fleeing for safety from the fire Lucy finds herself outside of a posh Chicago hotel on the verge of imploding. A bundle is thrown from a second floor window and Lucy catches it. It is a baby girl. After many months of trying to find the parents Lucy adopts the girl and names her Maggie.
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Randolph Higgins is a banker with marriage problems. He has moved his family from Philadelphia to Chicago in hopes of making his wife happy. The night of the fire he and his wife are caught under the burning rubble of a collapsing building while making their way to the hotel they are living in to get to their 15 month old daughter, Christine. Rand does not wake up for several weeks, having been badly injured and burned. During that time his wife has filed for divorce and all he has to do is sign the papers.

Five years later, Lucy needs a extension on a loan she has taken from a bank and the man she has to meet with is Randolph Higgins. While in his office she sees a picture of the baby he explains died in the fire. Lucy recognizes the baby as Maggie. Against all advice and following her heart she tells Rand that Maggie is Christine. They make custodial and visitation arrangements thinking only of Maggie. Rand decides after much thought to ask Lucy to marry him in name only so she can live in his mansion with himself and Maggie. She can keep her bookstore and she also lets him know she will not give up her"cause".

This story is about a woman, Lucy, learning that she can be a loving wife and mother and still be an independent woman. She had never believed the different roles were compatible. It is also a story about a man,Rand, she learns that his wife can be independent and still be trusted not to leave him. They both learn that they love each other and Maggie and that even in the 1800's they both can have it all.

The review of this Book prepared by plnorth

Chapter Analysis of The Firebrand

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   1600 to 1899 Children/Pregnancy    -   Yes Children/Pregnancy:    -   both sides claim kid(s)    -   "by the way, 10 years ago you had a child"

Main Male Character

Profession/status:    -   business executive Age/status:    -   20's-30's Sex makes him    -   scared

Main Female Character

Age/status:    -   20's-30's Profession/status:    -   small businessman Effect of sexing    -   confident    -   blissful    -   mature    -   unhappy for sexing the guy    -   scared Unusual characteristics:    -   Very shy


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest Misc setting    -   Fancy Mansion

Writing Style

What % of story is romance related?    -   40% How explicit is the sex?    -   vague references only    -   descript of kissing Focus of story    -   equally on him and her How much dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog How much sexing?    -   1-2 sex acts

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Susan Wiggs Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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