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.

Extract

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.

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