"Bonfire" finds the main character Dan many years past his small-town experience; bitter, resentful, and unhappy within his marriage. His wife Elaine still wants children after he's kept her at bay for seven years, and he blindly never realizes she knows he's been holding something back all these years. When his family is brutally murdered, Dan takes a break from his marriage under the pretext of sorting out his family affairs. Along his bus ride home, however, he meets three strangers who are equally as damaged, who almost gleefully pitch their plans in order to join him in his quest to fix up, and unload his family home. While helping him in his quest, all four create an impromptu support group, where they work all day and at night pour their miseries out over a roaring bonfire in Dan's back yard, complete with a never ending supply of booze and weed. While there are a lot of laughs, there easily is a lot more pain, as they each try to find a path back to self-forgiveness. Loves blossom, the past is reluctantly remembered, and rebirths are possible.
I grew up in the town "Bonfire" is set in. I did survive many of the things Dan does. I know the joy of the Midwest automobile town, and the anguish of watching it die. I wanted to bring that love out, and help keep it in the American conscience. There's nothing like those glory days of the auto town. This is the sort of story for someone who appreciates a bittersweet pill of beauty and pain, of loving and hating your family all at once, and of faith restored.
Finally, I wanted to bring to life that slice of Americana that is the bonfire - the beauty, pain, and purging that takes place in and around one. Nothing quite transfixes the human mind like a roaring fire, with loved ones encircling it. Every emotion can be attained, good and bad, but you know that with every ending there is always a possible rebirth.