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Cover of paperback edition of Invitation to a Bonfire by Adrienne Celt
May 2019

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Invitation to a Bonfire

A Novel - Paperback Edition
Adrienne Celt

In the 1920s, Zoya Andropova, a young refugee from the Soviet Union, finds herself in the alien landscape of an elite all-girls New Jersey boarding school. Having lost her family, her home and her sense of purpose, Zoya must now endure the malice her peers heap on scholarship students and her new country's paranoia about Russian spies. With the arrival of visiting writer and fellow Russian émigré Leo Orlov — whose books Zoya has privately obsessed over for years — her luck seems poised to change, but the relationship that forms between them will put Zoya, Leo and his calculating wife, Vera, all at risk.

Grappling with class distinctions, national allegiance and ethical fidelity — not to mention the powerful magnetism of sex — "Invitation to a Bonfire" investigates how one's identity is formed, irrevocably, through a series of momentary decisions, including how to survive, who to love and whether to pay the complicated price of happiness.


Adrienne Celt earned a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at Arizona State University  in 2012.

Praise for this book

"A tense psychological thriller and deft character study."

The Chicago Tribune


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