Thursday, 21 May 2020

Like A House on Fire 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.
All Stella and George have to do is make it through the day without their break-up being discovered - though it will soon turn out that having secrets runs in the family...

Like A House on Fire is the first novel I have read by author Caroline Hulse but when I read the synopsis the whole idea of having the storyline weaved around a murder mystery party is a new one for me and I was looking forward reading something completely original to me.

Stella and George have recently separated but there is a problem, Stella hasn’t told her family and with an important murder mystery anniversary party coming up for her parents she wants this day to be perfect for her mum so convinces George to come along! The family all come together but it soon becomes clear that each of the family members are currently battling through their own issues in their lives and surely this is going to have a dramatic impact on the party.

Caroline Hulse has a writing style that packs a lot into her storyline leaving no slow points in the novel there is always something going on which made this such a fast pace storyline that I finished in no time at all. Straight from the first couple of chapters the author had my attention I could already tell that this author was going to have a slight wit about her writing from the coke can reference and the comments made during the counselling sessions!

Although each of the characters were all facing desperate and heart-breaking times I didn’t actually find this an emotional read which I was surprised about when we look at all of the issues they are all facing, I think that could be because I never quite connected to any of the characters because no one really took a leading roll we jump back and forth between all of the characters so we don’t get time to get to know the characters on a deeper level.

The author certainly creates a believable relationship between the family with its cracks and flaws, showing how day to day life and a difference of personalities can get in the way of bringing a close bond between siblings. The murder mystery theme I actually found brought a little light hearted humour to the storyline with its continual disturbances!

I would definitely pick up another book by this author as she definitely manages to keep me intrigued and her pace of storyline is perfect for holiday reading I would just like to see her focus more on one or two characters to allow me to engage more with them so the book would leave a lasting impression.

Hardback                 Kindle

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