Friday 3 September 2021

This Is The Night Our House Will Catch Fire

Finished September 3
This Is The Night Our House Will Catch Fire: a Memoir by Nick Flynn

This memoir began with Flynn telling stories of his childhood to his young daughter. One story was about the night the first house his mother owned caught fire when he was seven years old. It was across the street from the fire station, and it had significant asbestos content, so although heavily damaged, it didn't burn down. Other stories are about the old man who lived nearby, the fear he instilled and the odd collections of things he had. He talks about the saltmarsh he crossed to get to school, and the world of books he lived in.
Alongside these stories to his daughter he talks about the trips he made back to his hometown with her, his marriage and the insecurities and communication issues that affect it, and his mother's death by suicide. 
The chapters here are short and dreamlike, as he tries to piece together his past and make sense of what are memories and what has been imagined. He examines how that fiery night has stayed with him and still affects him in many ways. The writing caught me and held me to the story, wanting to see what he learned, how he moved forward following his exposure of the past and the secrets he held onto. 

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