Monday, January 19, 2015

2015 book 19

Lisa Lutz's How to Start a Fire
Lutz's latest is a big departure from her earlier books--my beloved Spellman Files series (hilarious books about a family of PIs) and Heads You Lose--and has a bit more of a serious air. It focuses on three women who become friends in college--wild Anna, athletic and outdoorsy George, and quirky and quiet Kate--and their lives over the next twenty years, flashing back and forth in time to gradually reveal a couple of major secrets. I will say that the flashback structure is interesting and does a good job of building narrative tension, but I had a really hard time keeping the chronology straight. I also had some mixed feelings about how the various romances went--though certainly found most of them to be believable. And I did wish for a little more of Lutz's trademark humor (though she ends with a real zinger). Of course, that's not the sort of story Lutz is telling--I'd compare this much more to books by Courtney Sullivan than other books by Lutz. It's doing a similar thing, straddling the line between literary and women's fiction, to satisfying results. I really hope this is a breakout book for Lutz--I'd love to see her be a bigger name in the book world. A-/B+.

A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released in May.

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