From the bestselling author of While I Was Gone and The
Senator’s Wife comes a superb new novel about a family and a community tested
when an arsonist begins setting fire to the homes of the summer people in a
small New England town.
Troubled by the feeling that she belongs nowhere after
working in East Africa for fifteen years, Frankie Rowley has come home—home to
the small New Hampshire town of Pomeroy and the farmhouse where her family has
always summered. On her first night back, a house up the road burns to the
ground. Is it an accident or arson? Over the weeks that follow, as Frankie
comes to recognize her father’s slow failing and her mother’s desperation,
another house burns, and then another, always the homes of summer people.
frightening events, and the deep social fault lines that open in the town as a
result, are observed and reported on by Bud Jacobs, a former political
journalist, who has bought the local paper and moved to Pomeroy in an attempt
to find a kind of home himself. As this compelling book unfolds, as Bud and
Frankie begin an unexpected, passionate affair, arson upends a trusting small
community where people have never before bothered to lock their doors. Frankie and Bud bring wholly different perspectives to the questions of who
truly owns the land, who belongs in the town, and how, or even whether,
newcomers can make a real home there.
Suspenseful, sophisticated, rich in psychological nuance and
emotional insight, The Arsonist is
vintage Sue Miller—a finely wrought novel about belonging and community, about
how and where one ought to live, about what it means to lead a fulfilling life. Download and start listening now!