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Krysten Ritter Impresses with Debut Novel Bonfire

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Source: Courtesy of Penguin Random House

Actress, Knitter, Musician, and Author—these words describe professions and hobbies in which you can find many talented women. But it takes a particularly special woman to fit into all these categories at once.

Krysten Ritter, who recently became famous for her excellent portrayal of superhero, Jessica Jones, in Marvel and Netflix’s series of the same name, manages to fit into all these categories, and she does it brilliantly, too.

Relatively unknown as a TV actress, Ritter’s fan base began to grow when she landed leading roles in “Breaking Bad” and “Don’t Trust the B– — in Apartment 23.” But her popularity took off when she was cast as Marvel’s Jessica Jones. Ritter’s performance as Jones was spectacular, and she received numerous accolades for her powerful portrayal of a woman overcoming darkness and tragedy.

What makes Ritter’s representation of Jones particularly impressive is how different her real-life personality is the one she plays on TV.

Jessica Jones is angry, obnoxious, and doesn’t like people. In real life, Ritter is almost constantly smiling, with a light, bubbly attitude that makes you feel like if you met her in person, she would be your best friend.

She frequently posts motivation quotes on her Instagram, inspiring others to go out and chase their dreams like she did. Ritter is also an avid knitter, and she recently posted a picture of her and her dog, Mikey, wearing matching sweaters that she made herself.

Being a fabulous, well-respected actress and crafter wasn’t enough for Ritter, though.
She recently published her first novel, a psychological thriller called Bonfire. In Bonfire, protagonist, Abby Williams, has been trying for years to outrun her past. No one can blame her -growing up in a small town with an abusive father along with becoming a target for the worst
bullies in high school would make anyone want to run as soon as possible.

krysten ritter

Since making her escape, Abby has been a successful environmental lawyer in Chicago. But her life is turned upside down when a case takes her home to Barrens, Indiana. She must investigate Optimal Plastics, a company which essentially runs the economy in Barrens and is loved by the citizens.

As Abby begins to investigate, she uncovers much more dirty water, including a scandal over a decade old that could finally explain the disappearance of Abby’s best friend, Kaycee, who vanished almost fifteen years ago.

Bonfire genuinely has it all. A strong female protagonist who has overcome a tremendous difficulty, corporate espionage, small-town politics, and a classic “whodunit” mystery.

It reads quickly and draws you in until you have to know what happens next. True, there are moments when it seems like Ritter over-reached, and there is just too much drama to be believed happening in the tiny town of Barrens. But not only does Ritter skillfully wrap up these various plot lines, she ties them together in a dazzling spider web of conspiracy that leaves the reader absolutely shocked.

Were parts of the ending predictable? Yes. Is there some validity to the complaint that the ending was rushed? Perhaps. But for a first-time author, these flaws are minor and easily forgivable.

Krysten Ritter is not the next John Grisham, but she does easily prove that her book is a well-written novel published on its own merit and not by virtue of her fame and fortune.

Krysten Ritter truly can do it all. With her multitude of talents, positive attitude, and bright smile, Ritter is an inspiration for women and girls everywhere.

By: Kateri Swavely

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