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Fire in the Henhouse

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With razor-sharp wit and an unflinching eye for the little insanities of those who believe they are in charge, Fire in the Henhouse takes the reader on a rollercoaster of a ride. Dooleysburg, PA, chock full of local celebrities like the cross-dressing car dealer who doubles as the town mascot and a police chief who had to get his own juvenile record expunged, prides itself With razor-sharp wit and an unflinching eye for the little insanities of those who believe they are in charge, Fire in the Henhouse takes the reader on a rollercoaster of a ride. Dooleysburg, PA, chock full of local celebrities like the cross-dressing car dealer who doubles as the town mascot and a police chief who had to get his own juvenile record expunged, prides itself on being progressive and tolerant, a great place to raise a family. Widowed Maggie Rifkin returns here with her fourteen-year-old son and her New York attitude, naively imagining she can leave her past behind. But this town where friendships ignore racial boundaries and sexual eccentricities are a family business has been tempting the Fates. When sudden tragedy strikes, the thread of destruction might well unravel all the way back to Maggie's childhood secret. Fire in the Henhouse uses details delivered by witty characters and humorous situations to paint a complex portrait that includes both the light and darkness of 21st century American life. Grote is a master at building small everyday coincidences into the superstructure of events that ensnares her characters - and the reader.


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With razor-sharp wit and an unflinching eye for the little insanities of those who believe they are in charge, Fire in the Henhouse takes the reader on a rollercoaster of a ride. Dooleysburg, PA, chock full of local celebrities like the cross-dressing car dealer who doubles as the town mascot and a police chief who had to get his own juvenile record expunged, prides itself With razor-sharp wit and an unflinching eye for the little insanities of those who believe they are in charge, Fire in the Henhouse takes the reader on a rollercoaster of a ride. Dooleysburg, PA, chock full of local celebrities like the cross-dressing car dealer who doubles as the town mascot and a police chief who had to get his own juvenile record expunged, prides itself on being progressive and tolerant, a great place to raise a family. Widowed Maggie Rifkin returns here with her fourteen-year-old son and her New York attitude, naively imagining she can leave her past behind. But this town where friendships ignore racial boundaries and sexual eccentricities are a family business has been tempting the Fates. When sudden tragedy strikes, the thread of destruction might well unravel all the way back to Maggie's childhood secret. Fire in the Henhouse uses details delivered by witty characters and humorous situations to paint a complex portrait that includes both the light and darkness of 21st century American life. Grote is a master at building small everyday coincidences into the superstructure of events that ensnares her characters - and the reader.

54 review for Fire in the Henhouse

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Greenough

    What really drew me in was how lovable the author made the main character - out of such an unlovable personality. It felt like a blend between Stephanie Plum and Crime and Punishment – fun and engaging with awesome characters but with a psychological depth that really made it so much more meaningful than just a fun read. It made me think of Csilla’s Sense of Snow and that Kathleen Turner movie House of Cards. One other thing I really appreciated was that the author expects the reader to be clever What really drew me in was how lovable the author made the main character - out of such an unlovable personality. It felt like a blend between Stephanie Plum and Crime and Punishment – fun and engaging with awesome characters but with a psychological depth that really made it so much more meaningful than just a fun read. It made me think of Csilla’s Sense of Snow and that Kathleen Turner movie House of Cards. One other thing I really appreciated was that the author expects the reader to be clever and imaginative. There were breaks where action happened and life went on, but referenced in passing and if I missed the reference I missed a bit of the plot. The plot was not spoon-fed to me. I became more careful in my reading and was drawn in to live with the characters and imagine what is going on in their lives. It was a fantastic device that made the characters much more real because they had a life outside of what was written and engaged me to participate in the storytelling.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    Nutty neighbors, heartfelt friendships, laugh out loud situations, heartbreaking truths. Frances Grote's FIRE IN THE HENHOUSE has all of this and more. I was immediately drawn into this book by Grote's way of continually surprising me. And it felt like she was opening doors within a house I always wanted to visit, letting me look inside each room and learn the stories and secrets of every person who passed through. This novel, with its witty point of view, quirky characters and gripping drama ha Nutty neighbors, heartfelt friendships, laugh out loud situations, heartbreaking truths. Frances Grote's FIRE IN THE HENHOUSE has all of this and more. I was immediately drawn into this book by Grote's way of continually surprising me. And it felt like she was opening doors within a house I always wanted to visit, letting me look inside each room and learn the stories and secrets of every person who passed through. This novel, with its witty point of view, quirky characters and gripping drama had me up way too late for many days as I turned the pages and thoroughly enjoyed the journey through one small town filled with large egos and even larger dreams. Don't miss this one. Highly recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    This story pulled me from sentence to paragraph to page after page. Maggie, recently widowed, and her early teenage son move back to her hometown. There she confronts a past she wants to forget (or does she?), a romance in the person of the town's chief of police, and many unforgettable characters: Vee, Daniel, Margaret, Gamey, Morsel, and a host of others the author creates so well. And was her husband's death really an accident? Why did Maggie's father send her away? Will she and the police chi This story pulled me from sentence to paragraph to page after page. Maggie, recently widowed, and her early teenage son move back to her hometown. There she confronts a past she wants to forget (or does she?), a romance in the person of the town's chief of police, and many unforgettable characters: Vee, Daniel, Margaret, Gamey, Morsel, and a host of others the author creates so well. And was her husband's death really an accident? Why did Maggie's father send her away? Will she and the police chief really get together? Once begun, this book will NOT be put down!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Marie Fouhey

    This book is all over the place. It starts out with a disagreeable heroine moving back to a small town filled with obnoxious characters. The tone is very jokey but not particularly amusing (for example, the henhouse in the title is the local brothel.) The book climaxes with a Columbine style massacre at the local high school, followed by a scene straight out of the book Sybil which reveals the source of the heroine's problems and cures her. Generally preposterous. This book is all over the place. It starts out with a disagreeable heroine moving back to a small town filled with obnoxious characters. The tone is very jokey but not particularly amusing (for example, the henhouse in the title is the local brothel.) The book climaxes with a Columbine style massacre at the local high school, followed by a scene straight out of the book Sybil which reveals the source of the heroine's problems and cures her. Generally preposterous.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mahoghani 23

    This book showed the real side of life and the struggles we as human b we ings go through. The story really had nothing to do with the title. The story was based on family secrets in a small town. It went from humorous to serious really quick. A good book for any book club.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    Frances did a great job on her first novel, I enjoyed the humor and it was great hearing about places in PA since that is where I grew up. You will truly enjoy this story

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Full disclosure: I know the author. But, I thought that this was a really well written and cute book. Lot's of twists and turns. Fun but serious. She did a great job writing this. Full disclosure: I know the author. But, I thought that this was a really well written and cute book. Lot's of twists and turns. Fun but serious. She did a great job writing this.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Started off ok, then unfortunately becomes highly implausible and the ending is very cheesy. Most disappointing read I had in a while.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Very dark; I was not entertained as much as I wanted the whole story to end!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Pretty

    i hove it so bad

  11. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    This book was darker than I expected, but multiple characters are able to find their way to healing and redemption.

  12. 5 out of 5

    bonnie weigel

  13. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Youngjoo

    good

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cheri

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bob Battle

  16. 4 out of 5

    Judy Shaffer

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jana

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brad Farrar

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  21. 4 out of 5

    Leesteffy

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

  23. 4 out of 5

    A.C. Wise

  24. 5 out of 5

    اسلام عبد

  25. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Farley

  27. 4 out of 5

    Wendi Manning

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brea Brown

  29. 4 out of 5

    master jet

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

  31. 4 out of 5

    Gregory Frost

  32. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  33. 5 out of 5

    Mark McDonald

  34. 4 out of 5

    Laura Often

  35. 4 out of 5

    Nancy H

  36. 5 out of 5

    Megan

  37. 4 out of 5

    Steven Seelig

  38. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  39. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

  40. 5 out of 5

    Dona

  41. 4 out of 5

    Becky

  42. 5 out of 5

    Carole Robinson

  43. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

  44. 4 out of 5

    Janet Gibson

  45. 4 out of 5

    Dianne Fullam

  46. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  47. 5 out of 5

    Heike

  48. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  49. 4 out of 5

    Gerri Farmer

  50. 4 out of 5

    Cqstewart

  51. 4 out of 5

    Traci Camacho

  52. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Mason

  53. 5 out of 5

    Dana Sahm

  54. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

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