* The Arsonist by Sue Miller


One of the reasons why I keep this blog is to have a record of  what I have read, and in this instance I should have checked my reviews of the author’s past books. Having failed to appreciate The Senator’s Wife, Lost in the Forest, and The Lake Shore Limited would have been clues that picking up  The Arsonist may not be a successful move. Indeed, this story set my teeth on edge, from the parochial, entitled group of rich people who “summer” in an unnamed New England village to the studied burned-out aid worker whose story seems to be taken straight from, well, books about aid workers in Africa, all cliches included. Add an aging patriarch with Alzheimer’s and a series of house fires and let the platitudes rip. I could not even muster the energy to wish the former aid-worker heroine good luck with her town romance.

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