Fire & Water – A Novel by Betsy Graziani Fasbinder.
Only in the glaring light of hindsight does pediatric surgeon Kate Murphy understand that she was groomed for the path she’s taken. Raised by a widowed dad and a misshapen, sometimes comical trio of parental surrogates from Murphy’s Pub, her father’s Irish bar in San Francisco, Kate has never understood how protected she is—but when she learns that her well-meaning family has hidden bitter truths about her mother’s mental illness and death, the rest of her family history unravels.
Kate is still recovering from her family’s deception when she becomes involved with Jake Bloom—a charming artist different than anyone she’s ever known. When she experiences his sculptures on Ocean Beach, she is forever changed; in the months that follow, Jake reveals beauty Kate has never noticed, and exposes her to spontaneity, sensuality, and love deeper than she’d imagined it could be.
Only Mary K—Kate’s hard-edged best friend who doesn’t miss a thing and names bull when she sees it—is immune to Jake’s charms. She sees the potential for danger in Jake, and, of course, she says so. Caught between her newfound passion and her friendship, Kate dismisses her friend’s warnings. Ultimately, it isn’t until she is in too deep, with a daughter on the way, that Kate understands what Mary K feared on her behalf.
Fire & Water is a story of navigating the treacherous territory of passionate love, friendship, and family devotion—and of how love is always a matter of life and death.
A Word from the Author
Katherine Murphy is book smart, an accomplished pediatric surgeon at UCSF Medical center. But her patchwork family and her bookish nature sheltered her from the harsh truths of the world and hid family secrets from her, leaving her ill-equipped for the treacherous territory of passionate love. She meets and falls for Jake Bloom and is in too deep before she realizes that in addition to his brilliance, his passion, and his devotion Jake is also a broken person, a person who proves dangerous to himself and those who love him. Fire & Water is the story of navigating marriage, motherhood, family secrets, and friendship with love as a guiding light. It is the story of how love is always a matter of life and death and how family is far more than blood.
(Betsy Graziani Fasbinder, July 2017)