Top positive review
Funny but great complex lessons to learn
Reviewed in the United States on October 30, 2019
Told in first person, our main character and narrator Lillian travels to see her friend, Madison, who has a job offer for her. It isn't until after she accepts the job as governess to Madison's step-children that Madison tells her the kids burst into flames when they feel angry or frustrated.
The fire children do not make an appearance until 26% (on a Kindle). The first 1-7% is the foundation of Lillian and Madison's relationship. This includes how the met, their school-girl-days, and their current status. The story of their girlhood makes you feel emphatic towards Lillian and resentful towards Madison. From 7-26% it is Madison preparing Lillian for the children, and Lillian adjusting to her new rich life at her friends mansion house since Madison married a wealthy Senator. From 26%-until the end is the adventure of Lillian with the combustible twins.
Lillian's voice and POV is what makes the story so comical. Her comparisons, overemphasis, self-deprecation, and sarcasm created lots of laughable moments.
While the beginning starts off hilarious, the story itself that revolves around the relationship of the main character and the two children who are combustible is starkly serious. Though obviously cynical, I felt the twins ability to burst into flames an affect of both satire and analogy. The embedded theme for their paranormal state of combustion seems to mirror children on the spectrum, children who have cognitive or behavioral challenges that might just be misunderstood, or kids who are still developing proper coping skills. The combustible twins struggle to feel love from their father because of their flaw and ultimately want to feel accepted by their family.
Family dynamics, parental love, and acceptance is a focus in this funny but short tale that includes wearing inflammable clothes and applying noncombustible stuntman gel to those around. How will Lillian learn to handle the children when they "burst into flames"?
I loved this book and laughed out loud! But at the end, I teared up! I think parents and those who work with children will love this book. Highly recommend!!!!