Historical fiction about an incendiary tragedy that shocked a young nation and tore apart a community in a single night—told from the perspectives of four people whose actions during the inferno changed the course of history.
Beanland skillfully juggles the four main alternating points of view while also increasing the narrative's tension with each chapter ... Also, given the plethora of secondary characters and subplots, it's incredible how much the author gets done with short chapters, lots of dialogue, and impeccable economy of language ... The House Is on Fire is wildly entertaining and it deals with touchy subjects very well.
Beanland forges deftly described characters ... Beanland... conducted prodigious research, which results in a narrative brimming with immediacy and authenticity ... Her fine-tuned prose, her profound intellect and her benevolent humanity combine to shine in this absorbing novel.
Seamlessly interweaving historical facts and her own narrative, Beanland follows these four characters through the fire, the immediate, chaotic aftermath, and the subsequent investigation. Fully realized characters and gripping prose makes for an excellent, riveting novel.