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The House Is on Fire

by Rachel Beanland
A story about a devastating fire that ripped through a theater in Richmond, Virginia, in December of 181. The tragedy claimed the lives of over 70 individuals, while many more were injured. It delves into the lives of four individuals - a socialite, a stagehand, and two slaves - and examines how the devastating Fire affected them. It presents a fascinating account of their experiences during and after the Fire. The House Is On Fire by Rachael Beanland #historicalfiction, #womensfiction, #reading, #BooksToRead, #bookclub, #reading, #books,#TheHouseIsOnFire,#RachaelBeanland

Praise For This Book


A Good Morning America Buzz Pick

"Beanland's gripping fictional account delves into this tragedy [the Richmond Theater Fire], examining the aftermath, the stories that were told and the blame that was unfairly laid on people without the means to defend themselves." -Washington Post

"The House Is on Fire is wildly entertaining and it deals with touchy subjects very well. [The characters] all have unique voices and their stories are treated with equal care and attention, which speaks volumes not only about Beanland's research skills but also the empathy she has for the people she writes about. This novel is a fictionalized slice of history, but in a time when so many treat teaching history as a taboo, it is also a stark reminder of how privilege, sexism, and racism have been in this country's DNA since its inception, and that makes it necessary reading."-NPR

"Beanland has created characters so vivid they leap off the page.... A great, gripping read... Using tight, visceral prose and compact scenes covering a few minutes' worth of action at a time, Beanland creates a breathless, suspenseful pace. She follows up the story with a substantial author's note to clarify which characters and elements of the book are historical and which imagined. This is a page-turner that will leave the reader fired up and, hopefully, reflecting on whether the questions of injustice within have relevant parallels today."-BookBrowse

"THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE is the very best that historical fiction has to offer: a riveting investigation of a dark periodi n our nation's history and a championo f the voices most often silenced. Beanland has done great justice not only to the history of the Richmond Theater Fire, but to the real people who witnessed it, survived it and saved others from it. Tautly written and sensitively told, this is a masterwork from an author as compassionate as she is thorough."-Bookreporter

"A narrative brimming with immediacy and authenticity.... Beanland's principled approach to history, her fine-tuned prose, her profound intellect and her benevolent humanity combine to shine in this absorbing novel, one that discerning readers will embrace."-Richmond Post Dispatch

"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 that is highly recommended."-Booklist, starred review

"Powerful.... Beanland enlivens the smart and suspenseful narrative with fully developed protagonists that illuminate the community's response to mass catastrophe. Readers will relish this."-Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Fans of historical fiction will find themselves enraptured by Beanland's take on the true story of the Richmond theater fire in 1811. Told from the perspective of four people whose actions during the inferno changed the course of history, The House Is On Fire is an all-consuming exploration of redemption and perseverance in the face of tragedy."-E News

"I loved Beanland's first novel, Florence Adler Swims Forever, featuring a Jewish family in 1930s Atlantic City, and this one, with its very different cast and setting, did not disappoint.... Beanland's writing is sharp and clever, with lively dialogue. And although this is a character-driven novel, the plot kept me in suspense until the very end; only having to get off my train made me stop reading. I wouldn't have minded staying on board."-Historical Novels Review


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