Author(s): Madelyn H. Fernstrom
A startling, subversive novel about a teenage girl who has lost everything and will burn anything.
Fourteen-year-old Lucia is a young narrator whose voice will long ring in your ears. She is angry with almost everyone, especially people who tell her what to do. She follows the one rule that makes any sense to her: Don't Do Things You Aren't Proud Of. Orphaned and living with her elderly aunt in poverty in the converted garage of a large mansion, Lucia makes her way through the world with only a book, a Zippo lighter, and a pocket full of stolen licorice. Expelled from school, again, Lucia spends her days riding the bus to visit her mother in The Home. When Lucia discovers a secret Arson Club, she will do anything to be a part of it. Her own arson manifesto is a marvellous anarchist pamphlet, written with biting wit and striking intelligence.
The voice of teenaged Lucia is a tour de force: a brilliant, wrenching cry from the heart and mind of a super-smart, funny girl who can't help telling us the truth, a riveting chronicle of family, misguided friendship, and loss.
How to Set a Fire and Whyis Jesse Ball's most accessible novel yet; after Silence Once Begunand A Cure for Suicide, the pyrotechnics on display here will dazzle.
'I was captivated from the first line...... Lucia belongs with all the great child truth tellers: David Copperfield, Huck Finn, Holden Caulfield...... I loved her and I loved the book, every page of it.' Peter Heller, author of The Dog Stars andThe Painter