‘Like A House On Fire’ is the latest book by Caroline Hulse.
Things Stella and George have had blazing rows about:
– Misquoting Jurassic Park
– Leaving a Coke can on the side of the bath
– Fitting car seats for their hypothetical kids
In other news, they’re getting divorced. But first, Stella’s mum is throwing a murder mystery party and – with her dad losing his job, her mum’s recent diagnosis, and some very odd behaviour from her sister – now is not the time to tell everyone.
I loved Caroline’s previous book called ‘The Adults’ so I was delighted to receive a copy of her new one about another dysfunctional family.
After years of being together, the non stop arguing has finally forced George and Stella apart, they thought they were in it for the long haul but now they are seeing a marriage counsellor separately to try to sort themselves out. Even though they have finished, Stella has asked George to attend her parents anniversary dinner, a murder mystery night for last time before they break the news, but it seems that there are more than just Stella and George keeping secrets.
This book is a wonderful and relatable story, concentrating on the demise of a relationship and how the smallest of things can trigger an argument. Both Stella and George are great characters, both are outspoken and proud and moments between them vary from volatile to tender as they reflect back on their years.
The story takes place at a murder mystery party that Margaret, Stella’s mother has organised and there’s a wide array of personalities involved from Cheryl who’s been taken the murder very seriously to Scott, the seedy entrepreneur that Stella lost her virginity to.
The story is seen most from the perspectives of George and Stella but there are insights from other members of the family, Margaret the controlling mother, who’s planned for the perfect night to go without a hitch, Tommy the father who for all his kindness seems to be constantly offending something and Helen, Stella’s oldest sister who’s been portrayed as the perfect one.
Each character is struggling with something and as the story progresses we seen a family that are usually at loggerheads begin to bond with each other. A witty and warm-hearted story about the dynamics of family and relationships, ‘Like A House On Fire’ is an observant and deeply human story from start to finish with sharp one liners and flawed characters that made for truly enjoyable reading.
You can buy ‘Like A House On Fire’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops