One meaning of the title of this book was much more literal than I was expecting! Perhaps more surprising though was how powerful this book ended up being – one of my faves of this year, for sure!
Burning September by Melissa Simonson
Genre: Literary Fiction
Kat’s life is going exactly the way her sister has planned it, until a detective shows up at their front door early one morning and arrests Caroline for murder.
Suddenly and utterly alone, Kat doesn’t know how to navigate a world without Caroline, the woman who raised her. During the aftermath of the crime, Kat tries to figure out who she is without her sister, but unlocking those doors only leads to more troubling questions.
Kat realizes the one person she thought would never lie to her had, and quite frequently. Sorting through the skeletons and secrets might be more than she can handle, but it’s a necessary evil if she ever wants to see her sister acquitted.
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I did have some issues with this book, which I’ll get into below, but I still really enjoyed it. The writing is so strong and that’s immediately evident from the first page. I was really impressed the entire way through! I think this is an author I’ll enjoy coming back to again and again, if this book is anything to judge by.
There’s also a lot of humour in this one, mostly in the dialogue as the sisters can be quite snappy with their remarks. Here’s one of my fave quotes:
“This is quite possibly the most idiotic thing you’ve ever done. And I’m counting that one time you asked me why it was called stainless steel.” (p. 197-98)
At its core, this story is about the relationship between two sisters. Katya has always lived in Caroline’s shadow, her beautiful sister who always turns heads and has everything go her way. Until Caroline is arrested for murder. Now Katya is left on her own, struggling to understand who she is without her sister.