Invitation to a Bonfire by Adrienne Celt

Invitation to a Bonfire

Adrienne Celt

A love for the novels of Russian author Lev, helps young student Zoya through a difficult time at a New Jersey boarding school. When Lev comes to teach there Zoya becomes infatuated with him. But Lev is a manipulative man and sees his chance to get rid of his dominant wife. Not really a thriller, but a well-constructed story of psychological suspense, loosely based on the life of Nabokov, and with a twist at the end I didn't see coming.


My blood was warm and thick, my eyes heavy. I fell asleep still clutching the novel and eventually it migrated between my thighs. When I woke with a start in the middle of the night it was still there, hot, where my skin pressed into it. Outside the wind made a sound like an animal. I threw on some clothes and rushed to the greenhouse, bringing the book with me. Not to read, just for company. So I could remember for a little while longer the feeling of opening it for the very first time.

  • Letters to Vera by Vladimir Nabokov
  • Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Books with similar mood

13 Hours

Narinder Dhami

Someone Else

Tonino Benacquista


Julia Leigh


Nicolas Dickner

The Name of a Bullfighter

Luis Sepulveda


Kitty Aldridge

The Island

R J Price


Judith Hermann

Friendly Fire

Patrick Gale

Basket of Deplorables

Tom Rachman

Say Something Back

Denise Riley

Monsieur Linh and His Child

Philippe Claudel

Last Fling

Sue Gee

The Visiting Angel

Paul Wilson


Tom Lee


Mischa Berlinski

Greater Love

Lucy Wadham

The Bride from Odessa

Edgardo Cozarinsky

Pobby and Dingan

Ben Rice

The Bamboo Stalk

Saud Alsanousi

Scenes from Village Life

Amos Oz

The Testament of Jessie Lamb

Jane Rogers

Bad Boy Brawly Brown

Walter Mosley

The Cave

Jose Saramago


Carol Shields

The Wasting Game

Philip Gross


Sandor Marai


Anthony Cropper


Janette Turner Hospital

Conscious and Verbal

Les Murray

Errors of the Spirit


After Me Comes the Flood

Sarah Perry


Monique Roffey

London and the South-east

David Szalay

The Dog

Kerstin Ekman

The Poetry Cure

Julia Darling and Cynthia Fuller (eds)

Alva & Irva

Edward Carey

High Risk

Matt Dickinson

Fugitive Pieces

Anne Michaels

Field Study

Rachel Seiffert

People in the Room

Norah Lange

Ten Things I've Learnt About Love

Sarah Butler

Past the Shallows

Favel Parrett

The Ice Palace

Tarjei Vesaas

When We Were Orphans

Kazuo Ishiguro

Infinite Home

Kathleen Alcott

The Well and the Mine

Gin Phillips


Susan Fletcher

Journey to the Stone Country

Alex Miller