Jee reviews #HouseOnFire by #BonnieKistler #AtriaBooks #NetGalley #eARC #GeneralFiction #WomensFiction

Title/Author: House on Fire by Bonnie Kistler

Publisher: Atria Books

In a nutshell (Publisher):

Divorce lawyer Leigh Huyett knows all too well that most second marriages are doomed to fail. But five years in, she and Pete Conley have a perfectly blended family of her children and his. To celebrate their anniversary, they grab some precious moments of alone time and leave Pete’s son Kip, a high school senior, in charge of Leigh’s fourteen-year-old daughter Chrissy at their home.

Driving back on a rainy Friday night, their cell phones start ringing. After a raucous party celebrating his college acceptance to Duke and his upcoming birthday, Kip was arrested for drunk driving after his truck crashed into a tree. And he wasn’t alone—Chrissy was with him.

Twelve hours later, Chrissy is dead and Kip is charged with manslaughter.

Kip has always been a notorious troublemaker, but he’s also a star student with a dazzling future ahead of him. At first, Leigh does her best to rally behind Pete and help Kip through his ordeal. Until he changes his story, and claims that he wasn’t driving after all—Chrissy was, and he swears there is a witness.

Leigh is stunned that he would lie about such a thing, while Pete clutches onto the story as the last, best hope to save his son, throwing his energy and money into finding this elusive witness. As they hurtle toward Kip’s trial date, husband and wife are torn between loyalty to their children and to each other, while the mystery of what really happened that night intensifies.

This richly conceived and tightly plotted exploration of family and tragedy will have you racing toward its shocking and thought-provoking conclusion.

My thoughts:

Overall, a great read!

Leigh lost her daughter, Chrissy, to a car accident, and her stepson, Kip, was the driver. This incident put Leigh’s blended family to the test. Once a picture-perfect family, now charred by betrayals, lies and disagreements. Will they be able to endure this? Will this incident build or break them?

Leigh, who’s a divorce lawyer, was also handling other cases, and their stories were just as engaging but I thought weren’t necessary to the story, and made me wonder why were they included in the first place, because they kind of slowed down the pace a little.

Thought-provoking stories like House on Fire always never fail to move me. The twists and turns had me on the edge of my seat and the issues that this story brought up left me with some food for thought, and I appreciated that. That said, it didn’t exceed my expectations I had for this book.

Well-written for a debut, though!

Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books for a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’ve read a couple of unfavorable reviews of this too. What did you think? If you haven’t read this, do you intend to? Please share with me your thoughts!


17 Comments Add yours

  1. this sounds interesting — is it more of a mystery/thriller or a family drama-type story?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jee Wan says:

      Family drama-type…for fans of Jodi Picoult’s 😊


      1. ahhh gotcha, thanks! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Jee Wan says:

        You’re welcome! Just added a line to my review 🙂 thank you for your feedback! 😊♥️


      3. I thought your review was really solid! I was just confused by the book cover since it looks like it would be for a thriller haha

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Jee Wan says:

        Hey… You’re right! It does give a thriller kinda feel hahaha 😅


  2. Shalini says:

    Omg omg I want this book. This was such a fab review. Loved it. Now I go to amazon. 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jee Wan says:

      Thank you, Shalini! Amazon is THE place for us, book lovers! Haha

      Liked by 1 person

  3. nsfordwriter says:

    Good review, Jee – the blurb does make it sound like a crime thriller, even if it’s not. Maybe the extra cases were included for authenticity, but yes they sound like they didn’t contribute much to the story itself. I haven’t read any Jodi Picoult either, I don’t know why but just never got around to it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jee Wan says:

      Thank you, NS! Maybe it’s the timing or her books haven’t ‘called out’ to you yet 😉 She’s one of my fav authors when it comes to family/courtroom drama 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I found this thoughtful and enjoyed it, too, Jee! Fantastic review! ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jee Wan says:

      Thank you, Jennifer! ♥️😘

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Daniela Ark says:

    oh you have been reading great books Jee! I’m happy for you! Glad to hear this was “edge of your seat” good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jee Wan says:

      Yeah the plot did it except for those parts which I thought were unnecessary, I just skimmed through and didn’t miss a thing haha

      Liked by 1 person

  6. RoseMarie says:

    Excellent review Jee! Now, this does sound like something I would read, stepbrother accidentally kills stepsister while driving drunk, family drama ensues.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jee Wan says:

      Thank you, Rose! Quite a good read, I must say! ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

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