by Kate Wenner – Documentary maker Annie Waldmas is dealing with loss: her family’s weekend home has burned down and her father is dying of cancer. This story is about her learning to cope with that loss and with the resulting changes in her identity, as she tries to find out if an anti-Semitic arsonist is at work in New England.
The only false notes I noted came near the end, when Annie injects herself a little too much into the arson investigation. I understand the author’s desire to “show” the resolution of that plot point, rather than just “telling” it, and she was doing just that… right up until the actual take-down of the arsonist. Perhaps Wenner thought it would be too unrealistic – too “shades of mystery/chick-lit genre” – to have her main character (who has been so very plausible for the first 80 percent of the novel) be physically involved at that point. Perhaps she didn’t want to write an action sequence like that. Whatever the reason, her solution rang hollow, if far more likely than the one I’d expected.
My final verdict: Moving, deep, heart-warming, Setting Fires is sure to touch your heart. (finished 5/14/2012)