The Arsonist by Sue Miller
Few authors have a knack for writing inspiring domestic drama like Sue Miller. Over the years her readers have been entertained with stories of the everyday that include characters and situations we can all relate to. In her newest novel, Miller tackles the topics of arson, long distance relationships, and Alzheimer’s disease. It sounds like an atypical bunch of subjects to put together but they all interweave beautifully to create an eloquent, yet suspenseful novel.
Frankie Rowley is back from a 15 year relief work stint in Africa. Meanwhile, her mother and father are enjoying retirement in a small New Hampshire town where Frankie decides to stay for the summer. Shortly after she arrives, a series of arson fires consumes the area and brings worry and a strange sort of excitement to this otherwise sleepy community.
As the fires start to pit neighbor against neighbor, Frankie starts her own kind of romantic fire with Bud Jacobs, the owner of the local paper. Knowing full well that they are an unlikely match doesn’t stop them from being together. In the background to these events is the story of the heartbreaking progression of her father’s descent into Alzheimer’s disease. This causes important and fast decisions to be made by her mother. This impossible situation also becomes a wake-up call for Frankie to decide what she really wants out of life.
This relevant novel confirms the indisputable fact that Sue Miller is one of our generation’s finest writers of psychological and domestic fiction.
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