Review: Like a House on Fire

Like a House on Fire
Like a House on Fire by Lauren McBrayer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“I did think, let’s go about this slowly. This is important. This should take some really deep thought. We should take small thoughtful steps. But, bless us, we didn’t.—MARY OLIVER, I DID THINK, LET’S GO ABOUT THIS SLOWLY”

This is the story of a woman who goes back to working after taking a break in her career. She joins this small architecture firm and the woman she works for there becomes her idol, her best friend and makes her revisit all of her values, thoughts and way of life.

“She wasn’t trying to be a martyr. She handled things on her own because she liked being the sort of person who could, and because it made her feel less like her mother, who routinely asked other people for help just so she could judge the extent of their affection for her based on their willingness to give it.”

The book covers many topics around parenthood, marriage, friendship, career, being a woman and more. I loved the voice of the author and I really enjoyed the characters even though I’d say especially the male characters weren’t nearly as three-dimensional as they could have been.

“She was preoccupied with trying to remember why she’d ever thought it was necessary to throw a party for a human who was too young to form memories. Parents everywhere did this. Why? Parents were adults.”

It’s possible that many readers will not enjoy this book as it definitely takes a stance and does not soften things for the reader. I personally enjoyed that and found myself swept up in the story and cheering for the characters.

“She didn’t know where she would go, just that she needed to experience the sensation of moving forward through space. If it were an option to put herself into a catapult and be hurled into the air, she would’ve done it without hesitation.”

There’s a quote about getting to the end of your life only to realize you haven’t lived it. This book reminded me of that quote. I loved it.

Thank you to netgalley and G.P. Putnam’s Sons for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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