House on Fire by Bonnie Kistler #bookreview

Happy easter!

Generally I only share book recommendations on my blog. Today I have a review for a book I am really on the fence about recommending. I liked most of it but found some of it a bit too salty. Read my review to find out the reference!🍟

My Thoughts

A tense emotionally charged domestic drama with some questionable subplots.

This is a really hard book for me to review. I was completely compelled and addicted to the main storyline. BUT there were some subplots in this book that were over the top. It’s like when somebody puts too much salt on your french fries. I mean french fries are the best, right? I am perfectly fine with just a little salt, but if you overdo the salt they become really unpalatable. However, that is not the fault of the french fry it is the fault of the salt. SO in this book I really enjoyed the french fries, but not the salt. The problem is it’s hard to separate the salt from the french fries, and you can’t dip a book in ranch!🙃

The main storyline is about a blended family and how they handle and are impacted by a terrible tragedy. Leigh and Pete are coming home early from an anniversary getaway when they get the call. Pete’s son Kip and Lee’s daughter Chrissy have been in an accident, and Kip has been charged with drunk driving. The next day Chrissy is rushed to the hospital where she dies of a brain embolism, and Kip is charge with manslaughter. Leigh is tremendously supportive of Pete and Kip until the story changes and Kip claims that Chrissy was driving. I was so compelled by the story putting myself in both Leigh and Pete’s positions. As a mother I completely understood Leigh was completely distraught. But Pete understandably needs to stand by his child. I felt as though the book portrayed a very real and honest look at grief and conflict. The court case was intriguing and I was keeping my fingers crossed for a satisfying conclusion.

The subplots involved a Sheikha, a minister, A Russian temptress, and a mystery house. Now in the beginning I really felt as though these subplots added some color to the book. But as the book goes on they became more and more outlandish and detracted from The riveting main plot. The ending was pretty wild and I’m still not certain what to think? I really like how the main plot was tied up, but the rest? I think this was just a case of a debut author wanting to put too much in her book. I am really looking forward to what she has in store for us next because I think she did a very good job with that main storyline and I was most impressed with her writing.

*** many thanks to atria for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

Publisher’s Summary

In the best-selling tradition of Jodi Picoult and Celeste Ng, a tightly wound and suspenseful novel about a blended family in crisis after a drunk driving accident leaves the daughter of one parent dead – and the son of the other parent charged with manslaughter. 
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 14-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.

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Have A lovely Easter Sunday!🐰🐣