July 3, 2015

How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz

How to Start a Fire is such a well-crafted, thought-out, novel that it has quickly become my favorite this year.  Nonlinear and at times confusing (but in such a wonderful unfolding of beautiful storytelling) we meet three flawed women in college. Lutz interweaves their stories through flashes of time between the past and present spanning 20 years into middle-age.  We slowly gather details about one traumatic night in their 20s plus the aftereffects on each of them without yet knowing what that night entailed. 

Anna Fury eschews her wealthy background with misadventures and a strong love of drinking.  Orphan, Kate Smirnoff was raised by her grandfather and hasn't planned anything for her future beyond owning her grandfather’s greasy spoon diner come graduation.  George (Georgianna) Leoni, the beauty of the three, keeps falling for the wrong men preferring to morph herself into the ‘perfect wife’ depending on the husband.  This is such a calculated and well-timed story and would make a great book club selection as there is much to discuss regarding how lives are changed with certain events.  I am incredibly impressed with Lutz and she remains one of my favorite authors.