How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz
This is the story of three friends who meet in college and remain friends, at some times better friends than at others, over the course of the next twenty years. The three couldn’t be more different. Anna is the one with the ideas who becomes a doctor. Kate dreams of taking over her grandfather’s diner and is lost when her plans are dashed. George is the pretty and athletic one that went to school to be a park ranger and gets derailed by domestic life. The events of one night at a home they share near the college will have a large impact on each of their futures. This is the story of how much that one night changed everything for the three of them.
I didn’t think I would like a book about female friendship throughout the years, usually the stories are a little too sweet and maudlin for my liking, but when I saw that this one was by the author of The Spellman Files, a bitingly funny mystery, I was willing to give it a chance. There is humor, quite a bit, but there is a seriousness under the quirky and funny as well. The circumstances of each character are a little extreme but never stereotypical. These are larger than life characters that you can imagine existing, but it would be amazing to have them all together. Part women’s fiction, part coming of age story (these women are each emotionally stunted in one way or another and need time to heal and grow) a good choice for a fan of either that likes their fiction less sweet with a taste of the bitter.