and friend to imaginary people and animals
A ravishing tale of love, loss, desire and betrayal … at once a gripping psychological thriller and a finely crafted work of literature … Celt is an exquisite writer; her sentences take hold of you and will not let go … Invitation to a Bonfire is nothing less than an exhibition of stylistic virtuosity, a pyrotechnic display of fine writing.
On a sentence-by-sentence level, Adrienne Celt’s seductive, searing novel, about a love triangle of sorts in a New Jersey boarding school in the 1920s, is one of the most brilliant books I’ve read in some time…[A] compelling story that makes you question familiar power dynamics, the complicated ethics of fidelity, and what horrible and beautiful things we give ourselves permission to do, all for the sake of the sublime.
A cleverly constructed novel about love, obsession and revenge … [A] cunning plot and … singular, sparkling prose … Invitation to a Bonfire is part noir, part coming of age and a wholly enjoyable read.
Trembling with atmosphere … An ominous snowball of a novel … with a slow-burning first half and a second half that hurtles toward inevitable catastrophe. Rich and moody.
Adrienne Celt’s Invitation to a Bonfire is a propulsive literary thriller masterfully constructed and written with an extraordinary, raw urgency that will leave readers breathless.
[This novel has] all the delicious tension of a psychological thriller, the mysteries dissected in prose as sharp and precise as a scalpel … The result is a novel that packs all the punch of the very best noir—only with more depth. Highly recommended.
At once a taut psychological thriller and a sensitive character study; fans of each should rejoice.
A tense psychological thriller and deft character study—one loosely inspired by the marriage of Vera and Vladimir Nabokov.
In Invitation to a Bonfire, Adrienne Celt draws on the story of Vera and Vladimir Nabokov’s marriage to create an ominous literary thriller that’s as tricky as a chess match between grand masters. [An] ominous hothouse of a novel…
…the language is Nabokovian to say the least. Right when you think Celt has hit some undefined apogee of prose, she proves time and time again there’s still more fun to be had, and her lyricism and wit are a real treat.
This is an incendiary and provocative novel about obsession.
It leaps off the page fully formed, beautiful and literary…
A complex, ripe depiction … Celt captures the voices of the Russian immigrants in sensual detail, and what begins as a literary gem evolves into a psychological thriller reminiscent of Patricia Highsmith.
Adrienne Celt’s Invitation to a Bonfire will infiltrate your subconscious …When the threads—like lit dynamite fuses—hit their target, you’ll get way more than just a bonfire.
Sharp, seductive historical fiction.
Fascinating … The story is beautifully told with enough absolutely stunning sentences to enthrall the reader.
The way Adrienne Celt so completely inhabits the voices and lives of her characters is an amazing thing to behold. A dazzling stylist and a powerful writer, she has given us a rich, tapestried story of love, loneliness, and betrayal.
Part psychological thriller and part literary puzzle, Invitation to a Bonfire is a sexy, brilliant, and gripping novel about the fine line between passion and obsession. I am in awe of Celt’s mastery as a prose stylist and storyteller; I can’t stop thinking about this amazing book.