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Reviewed by Lela Buchanan for Readers' Favorite
Who knew that wildfires have personalities or that they like to play "Russian Roulette?" Who can imagine the power of an updraft, twenty thousand feet high or a heat generated in excess of thirteen hundred degrees? In the riveting read "One Foot in the Black", Kurt Kamm describes in graphic detail the power of a wildfire and the inner strength of those trained to be its conqueror. The story follows the life of a young man named Greg, who learns to be a firefighter while struggling to accept the hard realities of unfulfilling relationships, specifically within his own family. Greg finds acceptance and a sense of belonging with the firefighting crew: "We knew each other's hang-ups and personal problems . . . no one got angry . . . we were a team . . . we took care of each other." In the close environment and shared dangers, he finds a family, "a good family."
"One Foot in the Black" offers a fascinating, edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting, informative and suspenseful glimpse of the rigorous training and extremely life-threatening work of a wildfire fighter. As I read, I learned interesting facts about wildfires and the extensive preparations required to battle them. Besides being a carefully researched work that reads as if it were non-fiction. Kamm adds a poignant profile of a young protagonist, deprived of parental sustenance, searching to find a viable identity. "Everyone else had one foot in the black. I had no escape route, no safe zone. I had no one." You will grieve with Greg in his loneliness, but cheer that his inner spirit survives against all odds.