Madison and Lillian are mismatched roommates who become best friends at their fancy private high school. Lillian is a scholarship girl from the wrong side of the tracks; when Madison is involved in a scandal, her wealthy father pays off Lillian’s mother so that Lillian will take the fall.

 Although they haven’t spoken in many years and their adult lives are very different, they keep up a correspondence by letters. But when a letter arrives from Madison requesting Lillian’s help in person, she heads to her side.

 Madison’s U.S. senator husband’s two children from a previous marriage are arriving, and Madison needs help because these children have an extraordinary condition: they burst into flame when agitated. That’s the setup of this wholly original novel. Lillian has no childcare experience, and very little experience of being mothered, but she becomes just the right person for the job. This story is by turns funny and moving. Highly recommended.