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American Fire - Monica Hesse
The arsons started on a cold November midnight and didn’t stop for months. Night after night, the people of Accomack County waited to see which building would burn down next, regarding each other at first with compassion, and later suspicion. Vigilante groups sprang up, patrolling the rural Virginia coast with cameras and camouflage. Volunteer firefighters slept at their stations. The arsonist seemed to target abandoned buildings, but local police were stretched too thin to surveil them all. Accomack was desolate—there were hundreds of abandoned buildings. And by the dozen they were burning. “One of the year’s best and most unusual true-crime books” (Christian Science Monitor), American Fire brings to vivid life the reeling county of Accomack. “Ace reporter” (Entertainment Weekly) Monica Hesse spent years investigating the story, emerging with breathtaking portraits of the arsonists—troubled addict Charlie Smith and his girlfriend, Tonya Bundick. Tracing the shift in their relationship from true love to crime spree, Hesse also conjures the once-thriving coastal community, decimated by a punishing economy and increasingly suspicious of their neighbors as the culprits remained at large. Weaving the story into the history of arson in the United States, the critically acclaimed American Fire re-creates the anguished nights this quiet county lit up in flames, evoking a microcosm of rural America—a land half-gutted before the fires began

Milwaukee Beer Bistro

2730 N Humboldt Blvd · Milwaukee, WI

    Past Meetups (29)

    What we're about

    Tired of book clubs that tell you not to come unless you've actually finished the book? Tired of getting the evil eye from everyone in the group because you're the only one who hated the book that they're raving about? Tired of book snobs sneering at your suggestion for next months read? If you are.. we're the book group for you.

    We'll collectively pick books and each month and we'll try to find the time in our busy lives to actually read it. But if your job gets crazy, your kids get the flu, or you just don't finish it because you hated it, we'll still get together to discuss the parts of it we actually read. And while we're at it we'll share some drinks and possibly some food and we'll appear to be smarter as we say to our other friends and co-workers "I can't go. I have book club that night."

    Please don't misunderstand. YOU SHOULD PLAN ON AT LEAST TRYING TO READ THE BOOK. Or at least buy a copy to bring with you to the discussion so you can leaf through it frantically in an attempt to have something to add to the conversation. Or just drink an extra glass of wine and blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. There's no judgement here.

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