High above a raging fire in Northern Ontario, Toronto photographer Lorne Winter leaps from a helicopter and throws himself into the blaze. His horrific death causes a sensation. For pilot Sally Groves, Lorne's death stirs memories of her American youth and the summer of 1966 when her woods went up in flames. Investigations into the past lead to terrifying personal revelations.
A Forest Burning
A sensational death in Ontario's blazing woods causes Sally Groves to return to the scene of a terrifying fire. Her friend and neighbor Jake Nolan, a reporter and Vietnam vet, has never forgotten that summer night in 1966 when his buddy Tim vanished in Sally's forest. Hoping to put both fires to rest, Sally returns for the summer to her brother Mike's home on Groves Island, New York. In this community on Long Island Sound, the story of her eccentric family is local legend - and Jake Nolan is already hard at work with his own investigation.
Sally's not the only witness to Lorne's death. In Toronto, Lorne's adopted son Gabe sees his father's jump on TV. He's a freelance reporter, and as he and his girlfriend Dawn sift through his dad's effects, he learns his real mother's name -- and he realizes she's the pilot of the chopper from which Lorne jumped. Investigations into the past lead to terrifying personal revelations.
Spanning two countries and fifty years of a turbulent era, A Forest Burning is a novel about truth, memory and forgiveness.
Lorne jumped into the goddamn fire! -- the voice in Sally's headset was like static from a lightning storm. With her back to the cabin, with the roar of the wind, she had no idea what had happened, who'd spoken. Those macho jerks are pulling my leg, she thought. It was only when she banked that she saw the figure of Lorne Winter, small and frail as a scrap of birchbark, swept by the air to the flames, to the blazing tops of spruce and jack pine. She imagined him catching fire, as if he'd leapt down to chase it, to catch it with his hair, his sleeve, to embrace it with his arms and legs. Got you!