Ella, 22, is a trapped young woman limited to the flickers of release she finds in pyromania. Having abandoned college, she is stuck in her small, Midwestern hometown, suffocated by the silence of her repressed mother and grandmother and physically encased in ropy scars from the fire in which she was severely burned as a child. In this mesmerizing first novel, we follow her incendiary trail as Ella tries to cope with many losses: her father to cancer; her grandfather to suicide; her favorite aunt, whose whereabouts are unknown; and, finally, her sense of herself--both apart from and as one with the shocking scars that bind her skin. Ella pokes nervously at smoldering truths, but in her family the lies come as quick and fast as the deaths--and each new deceit sparks the impulse to inflame. Fire is made of grief, Ella believes, and she witnesses plenty of both in a story as entrancing and powerful as the lick and curl of a flame.
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