Thursday, May 25, 2017

(45)How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz


It has been twenty years since Anna and Kate found Georgianna passed out on the lawn of their Southern California college.  They became lifelong friends that night, for better or worse.  Anna is the strong personality of the group, some would say that she is the leader of their group, others would say that she is just bossy.  Anna comes from an upper-class Bostonian family and finds California a refreshing change from the East-coast.  Kate is the quirky one, she was raised by her grandfather after her parents were killed in a car accident.  Some would say that she is a free-spirit, but others might say that she is flighty.  George is the tomboy of the group, she is most comfortable in the wilderness camping or hiking. She is most likely to shed her likes and interests for that of the man most interested in her.  Some would say that she is a maneater, but others might say that she is just seeking true love.  A lot can happen to friendships over twenty years, but the three of them are connected by one incident that defined them and set each of them on a life trajectory that may not be healthy.   Through addictions, multiple marriages, countless jobs, and one dead man, the friendship is put to the test.  Will their friendship stand up to the test?

You know what - I really enjoyed How to Start A Fire.  It was one of those books that have a timeline that jumps around, so you need to be paying attention.  Especially if you are listening to an audiobook.  We start out that night twenty years ago in college and jump all over in time.  I think of all the characters, Kate was my favorite.  She was quirky but utterly devoted to her friends. And I loooved who she ended up married to in the end.  I also loved that she was a total bookworm.  Anna was the most difficult to like.  Her addictions caused her to do things that would have destroyed any normal friendship, yet Anna and George stuck by her.  George was really the only one that didn't get any resolution in my opinion.  Her "man-picker" was perpetually broken and I don't think it was resolved in the end.  Things concluded in an interesting way, but it certainly worked.

Bottom line - How to Start a Fire was a nice departure from the mysteries that Lisa Lutz is known for, but the whip-smart, witty dialogue is very much present in this story of three friends.

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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