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.
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!
Till then, HAPPY READING!