Christine Grillo's Hestia Strikes a Match is the slyly funny story of a woman looking for love and friendship in the midst of a new American civil war.
The year is 2023, and things are bad―bad, but still not as bad as they could be. Hestia Harris is forty-two, abandoned by her husband (he left to ﬁght for the Union cause), and estranged from her parents (they’re leaving for the Confederacy). Yes, the United States has collapsed into a second civil war and again it’s Unionists against Confederates, children against parents, friends against friends.
Hestia has left journalism (too much war reporting) for a job at a Baltimore retirement village on the Inner Harbor (lots of security). She’s single and adrift, save for her coworkers and Mildred, an eighty-four-year-old, thrice-happily-married resident who gleefully supports Hestia’s half-hearted but hopeful attempts to ﬁnd love again in a time of chaos and disunion. She reckons with the big questions (How do we live in the midst of political collapse? How do we love people who believe terrible things?) and the little ones (How do I decorate a nonworking fireplace? Can I hook up with a mime?), all while wrestling with that simmering, roiling, occasionally boiling feeling that things are decidedly not okay, but we have to keep going, one foot in front of the other, because maybe, just maybe, we can still ﬁnd the kinds of relationships that sustain a person through anything.
Christine Grillo’s Hestia Strikes a Match is an irreverent, incisive, laugh-out-loud interrogation of modern love of all kinds, in all its messy beauty. Equal parts wise and hilarious, it ﬁlls the heart, fortiﬁes the spirit, and will surely help to fend oﬀ despair. In the face of the everyday wildness of our times, it asks and answers that newly constant question: How do we make a full, wonderfully ordinary life when the whole mad world is clattering down around us?