PS Bartlett: Fireflies

Right my lovelies there will be an erotic #sexmeupreadathon book up later however I’m currently on my lunch break at work and really fancied writing this review. As I read a lot of books that are sent to me it means that I don’t really get a choice as to the genre. Although I do mix and match books depending on what I last reviewed it sometimes means that I end up reading a book of a genre that I’m not particularly fancying at the time. However, due to me reading so many books that fit in the ‘erotica’ genre box, I could take a step back and review this lovely book! Once again thank you to the author, I cannot wait to read your second book after reading this one! Also, apologies for the random outburst of emotion last night, I’ve had enough of feeling sorry for myself so that’s going to stop now! So, onto the review.

Set in the tiny village of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in the late nineteenth century, an Irish family’s life is about to change. A big family, Owen and Sarah support their seven children, Fagan, Connell, Liffey, Teagan, Brogan, Patrick and Ennis. Ennis was always an unusual baby, starting with his birth. He didn’t cry out for many minutes after the delivery, and his parents feared the worst. Six years later, they cherish their little miracle, but being to notice he has a mature temperament far beyond his years. The other children are growing up too, and the oldest will be leaving the nest any day now. Fagan is enchanted with a young woman down the street, and the two girls (Teagan and Liffey) are becoming women- finally noticing the men around them. But Teagan is ahead of the times. Her father is a doctor and she desperately wants to follow in his footsteps. Unfortunately, this is the era where genders have their specific roles. Men go out and work, women take care of the homestead and children. Teagan will have none of it. However, her dreams are the last thing on her mind when Ennis begins to act strangely. First the bird- which Teagan was sure was dead. Then the cut on her hand, that mysteriously vanished after Ennis touched it. As the week progresses, as do Ennis’s odd, new powers and soon the entire family is aware of them. Their only thoughts are of protecting the young boy, but what should they do? Who can they tell? Can they protect him? Are these powers a curse or a gift?

Wow what a captivating intro; this is a rustic story full of joy and charm. It kind of reminded me of ‘Little Women,’ which oddly I didn’t enjoy, however I actually really enjoyed this. Genuine and authentic this book hinges on its ability to build the description in such a wholesome way that you become captured by the characters as well as the storyline. Additionally because of this I found myself quickly immersed in the incredibly beautiful landscapes and the family feel of the book. I also loved that the book was woven between two time periods; in the present where the children are finding their own feet in the real world, and also the flashbacks back to Sarah and Owen reliving their youth. There is a great feeling of strength and love between the two that is hauntingly beautiful and warm as they watch their children grow and discover their own feelings. It is easy to say here that the character profiles are beautifully built up which allows the author to mix between the characters and explore how easily relationships can be broken. The characters really pulled me in and I felt very wholesome whilst reading it. Final comment on the characters; my favourite part was the way in which the family react to Ennis’s powers. It is very beautiful and well described so look out for it!

Another point to add is that the writing is stunningly beautiful; here’s a snippet. “Ennis found a bird. He stood like a fence post, straight and still and about half as tall, cupping the small brown sparrow between his chubby palms and looking down in sorrow. Its feathers were softer than he had imagined and it didn’t try to peck him or escape as he’d expected. Its tiny talons scratched him lightly and tickled his skin. Its dark blank eyes stared open, yet its body didn’t move.” It just swells, and moves so beautifully as the plot moves forward. The writing is strong and maturely written and it means the story has a supple and easy-going feel which makes for a stunning read. The plot line also makes for an interesting genre that you could only describe as a mix of fantasy, historical fiction and coming-of-age. It is brilliantly subtle so if you’re not a fan of fantasy generally I would still suggest checking this out! The only part that left me a little cold was the ending; I didn’t see it coming and it didn’t bring the closure I thought it would. It’s understandable why it ends in this way. Anyway it’s only a small blip and I often have a problem with the endings of books. It’s something I’ve been seeing recently that no endings to books make me happy but then it’s probably because the book is ending and I have to leave and withstand the book hangover before starting all over again.

So this is a lovely little book and perfect for me as a reader. The character profiles are strong, the interesting exploration of powers is subtle and the descriptions are stunning. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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1 Comment

  1. July 24, 2014 / 3:37 pm

    Reblogged this on Author P.S. Bartlett and commented:
    Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review my book. I sincerely appreciate your wonderful review! I’d also like to let your readers in on some wonderful news! FIREFLIES is a finalist in two categories in the Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews and Awards contest! I’m very proud of this little book and I look forward to reading your thoughts on HOPE FROM THE OCEAN as well.
    Thank you!!! 🙂

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