Like a House on Fire by Lauren McBrayer


Release date: April 26, 2022

Publisher: Putnam

Genre: Contemporary Fiction


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 resume 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 in love—she begins to question: what if the love of her life isn’t the man she married. What if it’s Jane?


Well this turned out to be much more thought provoking and introspective than I thought it would be. This asked so many questions that will stay with me about marriage and motherhood and being a middle aged woman who is struggling. While there were definitely parts of Merit that I could relate to she was a very morally ambiguous character but while I may not have agreed with many of her choices I found her to be fascinating. I tend to fly through books of the thriller variety but this was just as compulsive for me as any thriller, I really became wrapped up in Merit’s life and couldn’t wait to see what she would do next. I could see this being a great book club pick, especially as a summer choice as it’s light enough you could read it by the pool but it still has a lot of depth and loads to discuss.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

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