Who doesn’t love a book about a small town mystery, or should I say mysteries? If you enjoy trying to discover hidden secrets and uncover the truth, then Bonfire just might be the book for you!
Set in the Midwest United States, the majority of the book takes place in small town Barrens, Indiana which is all of 5 square miles. This is where the main character Abby grew up, but left for Chicago 10 years ago where she made a name and career for herself as an environmental lawyer. After getting a lead that Optimal Plastics, Barren’s high profile company and the heart of the town may have contaminated the water source Abby is determined to find out the truth.
Going back to your hometown is never easy, especially if you haven’t spoken to anyone there in 10 years. A return home also means facing those who you left behind, from your family to your friends, and enemies. Much of which Abby thought she remember about her time in Barrens now seems to not line up with what others tell her and how they act towards her. Though Abby is FROM Barrens what brings her back makes her somewhat of an outsider, who is trying to disrupt things in this small town. But having insight into the towns history like Abby does, allows her to look at all the findings of the investigation through a different lens then her co-workers.
While searching for answers as to what Optimal might be up to, Abby finds connections to the biggest scandal that hit the town when she lived there 10 years ago. The scandal concerned the popular girls, one being Kaycee who used to be friends with Abby but since had disappeared and was never heard from again. Abby is now determined to get answers to both the water contamination and figure out how it has to do with Kaycee and where she is. The biggest question of the book is, can you ever outrun your past? You will have to read Bonfire to find out!
My thoughts on the book
This book, like others that I have read is not one I have chosen but was chosen for Falen from KDWB’s book club. In all honesty, I had NEVER even heard of the book before however the book was just published in November of 2017. On Wednesday, January 31st we met for book club and discussed. There was a mix of views, but I would say overall people either liked or loved the book. I myself, was one who just liked it but definitely did NOT love it. At first I could not put my finger to why I didn’t love it. Then I realized what it was…the speed of the book. Is VERY slow. Had I read the inner book cover I would have been aware and prepared for this, but I didn’t. The book is described as a “slow-burning suspense” emphasis on slow, in my opinion. It was not until the last 50 pages that I truly enjoyed the speed of the book. Had it not been for book club, I might not have finished the book.
The actual storyline and content of the book I did find very interesting! So there is a chance – SLIGHT CHANCE – that I might have finished the book even without book club. There was 1 thing I continually thought while reading the book, it felt more like a TV show! What I mean by that is that there were places throughout the book in which I was could see an episode ending on cliffhanger and then picking up the next week to reveal another part of Abby’s search/ investigation in Barrens. Had it been a show I think I would have really liked it! At book club I realized why there book might have come off this way, it was written by an actress! The name didn’t sound familiar to me when I got the book so I though nothing in it and once again I did NOT look at the inner cover to see the authors picture… oops. Maybe a TV will be in the future?
The book was told from Abby’s point of view but there were times where I wanted to know more about the other characters in the book. So if a TV show ever gets made based off the book I hope they expand on the character storylines not just focusing on Abby’s. For me I thought the book had a good ending and for the most part things were wrapped up and this was the consensus at book club as well. However, there were people who wanted more or just wanted the story of Abby to continue as they felt like there could be more to her story after this book ends.
Like I said before, I liked Bonfire. It will not be on my top 10 list of books. However, if someone asked me if they should read it I would say yes, give it a try! But I would let them know that it’s not a fast read. If you have read this book or do in the future, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts!