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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Review: Hothouse (Lynch)

Title: Hothouse
Author: Lynch
Genre: Fiction, Realistic, Death
Pages: 208
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Russ and DJ have been friends forever, as well neighbors.  Their family friendships are based on the fact that both boys' dads are firefighters who work in the same engine company, the "Hothouse."  Nicknamed "Courageous and Outrageous," the dads are known for their bravery and heroic actions on the job, and Russ and DJ have grown up in their shadow.  When the Hothouse is called to a fire, the dads rescue an old woman from the burning house, but they cannot save themselves.  Soon, the town is rushing to memorialize the fallen firefighters, tossing around words like "hero," and throwing parties and raising  money for the families.  But in the end, Russ and DJ are left without their dads.

Told through the first-person narrative of Russ, this is a very real story of family, friendship, and loss.  There are MANY books out there where the main character has to deal with the death of a parent, but I promise you, this is one not to be missed for it brings so much more to the table than just another dead parent.  In the rush to turn the firefighters into heroes, it is possible that the town officials have overlooked important events of the tragic fire.  As details of that night slowly come to light, it is possible that Russ is going to have to face the possibility that his father is not a hero, and is in fact to blame.

Russ is a "guy's guy" and the story of his friendships, especially with DJ, are realistically portrayed.  The mystery surrounding the events of the fire is parcelled out at just the right pace, and will keep you turning the page. 

I read an advance copy of this book, as it will not be published until 8/24/10.  If you would like to read it before then, please comment and I will send it to you.

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