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Like a House on Fire cover art

Like a House on Fire

By: Lauren McBrayer
Narrated by: Marin Ireland
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Summary

A JULY 2022 BELLETRIST BOOK CLUB PICK

What would you do if you found the spark that made you feel whole again?

After twelve years of marriage and two kids, Merit has begun to feel like a stranger in her own life. She loves her husband and sons, but she desperately needs something more than sippy cups and monthly sex. So, she returns to her career at Jager + Brandt, where a brilliant and beautiful Danish architect named Jane decides to overlook the “break” in Merit’s résumé and give her a shot.

Jane is a supernova—witty and dazzling and unapologetically herself—and as the two work closely together, their relationship becomes a true friendship. In Jane, Merit sees the possibility of what a woman could be. And Jane sees Merit exactly for who she is. Not the wife and mother dutifully performing the roles expected of her, but a whole person.

Their relationship quickly becomes a cornerstone in Merit’s life. And as Merit starts to open her mind to the idea of more—more of a partner, more of a match, more out of love—she begins to question: What if the love of her life isn’t the man she married. What if it’s Jane?

©2022 Lauren McBrayer (P)2022 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

Critic reviews

“Wise, witty, and tender, Like a House on Fire is a multilayered examination of connection and desire that artfully tackles the question: What if the person you are isn’t the one you set out to be? It’s beautifully written with deep empathy and vivid characters. I was utterly seduced and satisfied by this book.” (Camille Perri, author of When Katie Met Cassidy and The Assistants

Like a House on Fire is an un-put-downable novel about motherhood, middle-aged malaise, questioning identity and the choices women are forced to make. I found parts of myself on every page; every woman will find herself along the way as they turn the pages of Merit's life and get lost in McBrayer's raw, emotional and stunning prose. And the ending...well, I'm still shaking. Every woman should read this book. Alert your book club, this one will bring out the discussion, the confessions and the wine.” (Elyssa Friedland, author of Last Summer at the Golden Hotel)

“With a zippy pace, punchy dialogue, and beautifully crafted sentences that manage to capture the tenderness of longing and self-discovery, Merit and Jane’s love story feels both realistic and escapist, a queer romance done right.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) 

“Compelling…. Recommended for readers who enjoy introspective relationship fiction.” (Booklist)

What listeners say about Like a House on Fire

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Profile Image for M. Barn
  • M. Barn
  • 11-05-22

Been there

I really loved this book. It handled the coupling of the two women with grace, tenderness, and dignity. I believe it is the story of many women who have chosen an alternative lifestyle.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Forsythgirl
  • 22-05-22

Not for me

I didn’t realize this book was about a lesbian relationship. I don’t care who people love to each is own but I don’t want to read about it. Got cringey for me I fast forward to the end to see how it turned out. Yuck. Not my cup of tea. The narrator is great did a good job with different voices.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Greeny
  • 26-01-23

Like a heart on fire

This is an absolutely gorgeous story. It gave me all the feels and I’ll be thinking about it on a loop for quite some time. If you’re not sure about the premise, let me encourage you to just read it- just listen. A true love story- not everyone gets one so share theirs.

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  • Corey Leaverton
  • 23-01-23

Beautifully written & wonderful narration

I loved how real the story felt, from the character interaction, to the way in which each of the characters expressed themselves. As a creative & a mother of 2, I really related to Merit. Her struggle to find out who she really is as a creative, mom, and wife.

I also loved the love story between Merit and Jane. I would read this over and over again.

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  • Stacy
  • 16-01-23

Loved this!

This was an incredible book…I loved the humor and the well-told story. Narration was spot on too! So good!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-01-23

Dark Horse

I picked up this title in the bookstore randomly and loved it. Started it one night and stayed up until I finished it. It really hit me in all the feels and had me laughing and crying. I just LOVE Jane's humour and their relationship. Another book where I found the narration really elevated the story. Even though I knew the plot I enjoyed listening to it again so much and will definitely be a repeat offender.

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  • Kruz Mhee
  • 15-09-22

Wonderfully written!

This is my first book from this author. I can hardly wait for the next!

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  • Susan
  • 25-08-22

I LOVED THIS BOOK!

Everything about this book is worth 5 stars... the writing, the reading, the story. Very original and made me want to be part of these characters' lives. Totally recommend!

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  • Mariah
  • 17-08-22

Slow start

The first eleven to twelve chapters were a bit of a slow start, but then it picked up quickly.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-07-22

Intelligent dialogue

I really loved this book. It felt very real and the emotions and dialog were also very clever and heart felt.
Good book, when a lot of lesbian fiction is not so good.