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November 3, 2020 at 4:11 pm #2004Caitlin SmithGuest
Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land
by Monica Hesse
- Author: Monica Hesse
- Genres: crime, history, mystery, adult, journalism, sociology, biography
- ISBN: 9781631490514 (1631490516)
- Language: english
- Awards: Agatha Award Nominee for Best Nonfiction (2017), Edgar Award Nominee for Best Fact Crime (2018), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Nonfiction (2017)
- Format: hardcover, 255 pages
- Publisher: Liveright
- Release date: July 11, 2017
About The Book
Shocked by a five-month arson spree that left rural Virginia reeling, Washington Post reporter Monica Hesse drove down to Accomack County to cover the trial of Charlie Smith, who pled guilty to sixty-seven counts of arson. But Charlie wasn’t lighting fires alone: he had an accomplice, his girlfriend Tonya Bundick. Through her depiction of the dangerous shift that happened in their passionate relationship, Hesse brilliantly brings to life the once-thriving coastal community and its distressed inhabitants, who had already been decimated by a punishing economy before they were terrified by a string of fires they could not explain. Incorporating this drama into the long-overlooked history of arson in the United States, American Fire re-creates the anguished nights that this quiet county spent lit up in flames, mesmerizingly evoking a microcosm of rural America — a land half gutted before the fires even began.
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