American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land

51xyeLUVvCL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_I have read a number of positive reviews about American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse (including being one of NPR’s Best Books of 2017 and A NYT Book Review Notable Book of the Year) and thought I would enjoy it, even though it is not the type of book I generally choose. In Accomack County, VA, there were 60+ cases of arson in a short period of time. Firefighters were tapped to their limits, citizens formed vigilante groups, and officials couldn’t figure out who was lighting the fires. Turns out the fires were set as part of a love story between Charlie Smith and his girlfriend, Tonya Bundick. I suspect that many people have heard this story and know who was responsible, but I think the book would have been more powerful if they weren’t outed so early in the book. In any event, it was good and I enjoyed it.
four-stars

 

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