A Different Kind of Fire

A Different Kind of Fire Review

Ruby Schmidt has the talent, the drive, even the guts to enroll in art school, leaving behind her childhood home and the beau she always expected to marry. Her life at the Academy seems heavenly at first, but she soon learns that societal norms in the East are as restrictive as those back home in West Texas. Rebelling against the insipid imagery women are expected to produce, Ruby embraces bohemian life. Her burgeoning sexuality drives her into a life-long love affair with another woman and into the arms of an Italian baron. With the Panic of 1893, the nation spirals into a depression, and Ruby’s career takes a similar downward trajectory. After thinking she could have it all, Ruby, now pregnant and broke, returns to Texas rather than join the queues at the neighborhood soup kitchen.

Set against the Gilded Age of America, a time when suffragettes fight for reproductive rights and the right to vote, A Different Kind of Fire depicts one woman’s battle to balance husband, family, career, and ambition. Torn between her childhood sweetheart, her forbidden passion for another woman, the nobleman she had to marry, and becoming a renowned painter, Ruby's choices mold her in ways she could never have foreseen.

Includes book club questions.

Title:A Different Kind of Fire
Edition Language:English

    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Emily Mims

    A sweeping saga of a woman torn between two worldsSet in turn of the century America, ‘A Different Kind of Fire’ is the story of a woman torn between the land and the man that she loves with all h...

  • Angela Pneuman

    In Ruby Schmidt, Suanne Schafer has created a remarkable heroine, one who faces the challenges of time and convention with a vivid spirit and a sense of emotional adventure. It's a pleasure to follow ...

  • Michael Hardesty

    The protagonist, Ruby Schmidt, moves with ease between rural Texas and urban Pennsylvania, from feeding chickens to studying fine art. Even more delicate, however, is the conflict between traditional ...

  • Gail Hart

    A Different Kind of Fire tells the story of a remarkable woman in turn of the twentieth century America. Over the course of nearly forty years Ruby becomes a painter, a baroness, and a west Texas ranc...

  • Caroline

    A Different Kind of Fire is a story of woman driven by her talent and her passions. Ruby does her best not to conform to the expectations of her time, class and sex. The title of the book symbolizes t...

  • Janalyn Knight

    I read this book-without stop-until I finished. The characters were so well developed I felt I knew them personally. As an art major in college I was impressed at the depth and accuracy of artistic de...

  • Elena Mikalsen

    Great historical fiction. Quite unique as the main character is a bisexual artist and you don't usually read this kind of a historical novel. I really loved the author's voice. Ruby drew me in right a...

  • Renee

    A Different Kind of Fire is the story of Ruby Schmidt, a young woman who dreams of becoming an artist during the 19th century. The reader follows Ruby as she travels to Philadelphia where she attends ...

  • Neg Dardashti

    A Different Kind of Fire is a unique historical romance in which the main character, Ruby, is a bisexual artist, creating an added layer of flare to the author's impeccable mastery of painting a pictu...

  • Orna

    Rubby is the most fun loving, hardworking, open-minded 19th Century Wonder Woman. She is A Different Kind of Fire’s heroine, decorating this terrific novel with her unwavering spirit. As she leaves ...