- Publisher: Thomas Nelson
- Language: English
- ASIN: B001KBZ68Y
- Package Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (388 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,438,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Chasing Fireflies: A Novel of Discovery Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
In his fifth novel, Martin (Maggie; When Crickets Cry) offers the same brand of sentimental Southern storytelling that has endeared him to readers. Just before T-boning her Impala into a train, a woman on a suicide run kicks her horrifically abused little boy, known only as Snoot—or to the state, John Doe 117—out of the car. Chase Walker, a reporter for the Brunswick Daily in Glen County, Ga., is assigned to follow up on the boy, whose abandonment mirrors Chase's own haunted past. The little boy, apparently mute, is an artistic prodigy who excels at chess and quickly works his way into Chase's heart. Martin's strength is in his memorable characters, especially Uncle Willie, whose fresh quips ("as out of place in South Georgia as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs"), penchant for Krispy Kreme doughnuts and mysterious past keep readers engrossed. Here, as in some of his other novels, Martin can't resist piling on unnecessary tragedies; his characters and their issues are enough to keep the pages turning. Although the plot needs fine-tuning, Martin's prose is lovely, and the flashback parallel stories of a grown man abandoned as a child and the neglected boy will ensure readers keep the Kleenex handy. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
G.D.W. © AudioFile Portland, Maine
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Top Customer Reviews
I loved this story. Uncle Willee is my hero! (although, yes, he has flaws). This story touched and revived a passion I already have--about the brokenness and pain felt by boys abandoned, and the help and healing that can come when good men, in touch with their own pain and brokenness and not afraid to share it, reach out in love. On a broader level--it's a story of brokenness, choices, and healing that can come even in the midst of pain.
Okay...maybe this is a rather corny review but...
This is the 4th or 5th book I've written by Charles Martin. I do love his writing, and can't figure out why I hadn't heard of him earlier. I do need to slow down in finding, buying and reading his books though. Otherwise it will soon be all over, and I'll be left disappointed with nothing to look forward to! :o)
Three interwoven lives are the stuff of "Chasing Fireflies." Chase Walker is a reporter longing for the father he never knew. His adopted father, Willie or "Unc," is a family black sheep, and about as black as a black sheep can get, dealing with his own memories, history and loss. And then there's the boy, Snoot or Buddy or whatever his name might be, who's been horribly abused; in the novel's opening scene, he's kicked out of a car moments before its driver pulls in front of a train to commit suicide.
All three characters search for belonging as Martin gradually unfolds a mystery, actually a nest of mysteries, some stretching back decades and others contemporary. As he does in all of his novels, he's a master of sucking the reader into the story, because his characters are real and you care about what happens to them. Martin masterfully weaves the themes of belonging and redemption into his story, and it becomes our story.
An added bonus is Unc's aphorisms, expressions of a small-town South that I haven't heard since my father died more than 20 years ago. (One in particular -- "Makes your butt want to dip snuff" -- catapaulted this reader right into his family history. And the "fireflies" of the title are what I knew as "lightning bugs" and captured in my jar, just like Chase, Unc and the boy.)
It's a beautiful story.
A couple quotes from the book that really made me think:
"Sometimes good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment."
"You can say whatever you want about something, but that doesn't change what it is."