How to Start a Fire

How to Start a Fire

by Lisa Lutz

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How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz

 “How to Start a Fire will keep you captivated from beginning to end.”—Town & Country

“Excellent . . . Over the course of the novel we come to know intimately these three complicated women.”—Chicago Tribune
“Whip smart and cunning, deeply funny and profoundly moving . . . A knockout.”—Megan Abbott, author of The Fever

When college roommates Anna and Kate find Georgiana Leoni passed out on a lawn, they wheel her to their dorm in a shopping cart. Twenty years later, they gather around a campfire at a New England mansion. What came between—the wild adventures, unspoken jealousies, and one night that changed everything—is the witty, poignant story of our strongest friendships, the people who know us better than we know ourselves. Anna is the de facto leader, as fearless as she is reckless. Quirky Kate is the loyal sidekick, until she’s pushed too far. And stunning George is always desired, but just as frequently dumped. Alive with Lutz’s crackling dialogue and propulsive storytelling, How to Start a Fire pulls us into the tangled bond shared by three intelligent, distinctive, and deeply real women and pays homage to the abiding, irrational love we have for the family we choose.
“Lutz joins the ranks of authors who write deeply and sensitively about the shadowy yet life-affirming terrain of female friendship.”—Globe & Mail
“Lutz hits a home run in this glorious exploration of friendship . . . [she] portrays three fully drawn, flawed, and compelling women with fresh insight into the mysterious terrain of female friendships—a mix of shared experiences, affection, empathy, jealousy, anger, and love.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544409644
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 05/12/2015
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 116,894
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

LISA LUTZ is the New York Times best-selling author of the six novels in the Spellman Files series and Heads You Lose (with David Hayward). Lutz has won the Alex Award and has been nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. She lives in upstate New York.

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How to Start a Fire 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
debrareadsalot More than 1 year ago
First off...I love Lisa Lutz's writing. She has a knack for her style of writing shown with the Spellman series. I enjoyed that series because of that very style. It was different than most things I read. I read a lot of biographies and When I need a break from that reading I break it up with mysteries. That is how I found her originally. "How to Start a Fire" takes a break from her Spellman style of writing. For better or for worse she broke with a successful style. I can understand why she might want to do that. No one wants to be boxed in as having only one way of being. However, this book was so different I don't know what to say. I would not have read it at all if it hadn't been for the author's name. The characters are odd, which is a good way to begin a book. But the "odd" was off-putting. At some point in fiction the reader wants to find a "fit" with one of the characters to my way of thinking. And I didn't find a fit. I hope Lisa Lutz continues to write. I think I will continue to read her books but I won't jump at the chance to read one as quickly as I did this time. I had a pre-sale chance and I took it. I won't do that again with her books. I'll wait and see.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Became a Lutz fan with the Spellman family. This one was not funny. She writes very good characters. I will always pick up a book by her. I didn't give five stars because I think the characters were a bit superficial and could have been filled out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In my opinion the story was difficult to follow because it jumped back and forth from year to year. I had a difficult time reading it to the very end, but I finally managed
bookchickdi More than 1 year ago
The first Lisa Lutz's book I read was The Spellman Files, the first in a series of mysteries about a family of private investigators. There is a delightful sense of humor in these books, and if you like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, you should give The Spellman Files a read. The next book I read of Lutz's was The Passenger, a tense psychological thriller about a woman on the run after killing her husband. She was already on the run from something else, and when she meets a mysterious woman who saves her life, things get even more complicated. The Passenger made my list of Most Compelling Books of 2016 and I recommend it to everyone. My friend and bookshop colleague told me I should read Lutz's 2015 novel, How To Start A Fire, and I finally got around to it. Boy, am I glad I did. Kate and Anna are college freshman. Kate is an orphan who lives with her grandfather and hopes to take over his diner one day, living out her life in familiar surroundings. She finds things fascinating that other might not, like the ancient medical use of leeches. Anna is from a wealthy family back East, always up for an adventure and getting herself (and others) into trouble without much thought. One night after leaving a frat party, they find a tall young woman lying drunk in the grass. They put her in a shopping cart and bring her back to their dorm. Her name is George, and she is a star athlete, very close to her dad after her mother died. The three women become best friends, living together and planning their respective futures, which included medical school for Anna if she could get her grades up. We follow the women back and forth through the years. A tragic incident occurs that changes all of their lives and threatens their futures. Lutz writes her characters so beautifully, and her words on the page are so stunning, I often found myself stopping and rereading them over and over, like this passage: "Edgar had fallen in love with George's knees first, but he was also a back-of-the-neck man, a breast man, a shoulder man, even a foot man, just not in the fetish-video kind of way. An entire woman was too overwhelming. He preferred them in sections, the way one would study a map." Lutz's sense of humor is here in smaller doses as well, as when she describes Anna's mother this way: "Her mother's full-time job for the past nine months had been planning her son's wedding. Somehow Lena Fury had managed to shove aside the mother of the bride and the bride herself to become the chief operating officer of the Fury/Wentworth nuptials." Kate, Anna and George are truly unforgettable characters, and Lutz tells their story with a compassion and clarity that resonates long after you finish their story. I highly recommend How To Start A Fire, and anything Lisa Lutz has written, in any genre.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I suppose the characters, their interactions, their relationships, and their ongoing life stories could have been interesting, but the never-ending skipping back and forth of the time line rendered them just confusing and muddled. I still don't have any clear idea of what the author was trying to achieve. I think I would have enjoyed the book had it been more organised. The reader shouldn't have to take notes just to keep sense of a storyline. The ending was abrupt and I almost pictured the author waiting in the wings, to step out at the end with a "ta-da". Only there wouldn't have been any applause. Preople would have been too busy scratching their heads, wondering "what the hell was that?"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
im gonna rate this 5stars even though i havnt read the whatchamacallit thingy