©2007 Charles Martin; (P)2008 Oasis Audio
This book is written in the "I", a man, so at first I had a little trouble getting it. But, it didn't take long until I was very interested in the story as well as attached to the characters. The story has such depth and is loaded with true meanings of life. Tears and laughter at times, I truly love 'Uncle Willie'. This story will stay with me and I would even listen to it again. Thanks Mr. Martin and I sure look forward to your other books. I would like an audio to be made of the book "When Crickets Cry" because it was recommended to me by a friend as the "best book she had ever read" - she is an 84-year-old avid reader. /debR
I just purchased the audiobook. I read this novel a couple years ago and was riveted. Probably the best "Christian fiction" I've ever read. Unique characters, wonderful writing, gripping storyline. I wanted to re-read it but just haven't found the time. This audio version will make a 2,200 mile trip at least 800 or so miles shorter.
Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.
Can I just say this book is amazing. About a chapter into it, there is a "historical, background building" section that made me think the ratings were off and I had picked a loser. I listened much closer the second time through... realizing then how important this information would become. The characters are people I want to have in my life - Uncle Willie, oh my goodness his little one liners just cut right to the truth, his resilience and understanding of grief allows him to help others process. The story weaves four life stories, two parallel stories of abandoned children separated in time by a decade... cross woven with the story of Uncle Willie and his niece both emotionally injured by the same man. This cross weaving of stories does take a little concentration to follow... but it is beautifully done. Clean, positive, uplifting, but not preachy.
Awhile ago, I decided to spent a few Audible credits, and knew for sure one of the books I wanted to buy -- I couldn't quite remember the title, but it had something to do with fireflies, and was written by P. T. Deutermann, who's thrillers I've loved. So -- I found the book, bought it, downloaded it, and then a few days ago clicked on it to listen.
It started out a little odd, but as the minutes ticked away, the whole thing seemed a little strange -- this wasn't anything at all like Deutermann's previous books -- I was enjoying it, but this was very different from what I'd been expecting. Only then did I check to see who the author was -- had I made a mistake? Indeed I had: this wasn't Deutermann's "The Firefly", this was "Chasing Fireflies" by an author I'd never heard of.
Well? Good mistake! By that time I was hooked.
"Chasing Fireflies" is a thoroughly enjoyable book, one I probably never would have set out to buy but which I enjoyed enormously. Wow, these southerners can tell stories! From Faulkner to Flannery O'Connor to Pat Conroy to Grisham to those southern writers who weren't quite as prolific -- Margaret Mitchell, Harper Lee, Katheryn Stockett, John Berendt, on and on, The one thing they all have in common is consummate storytelling. These are not, for the most part, white-knuckle books, where danger, tension or fearsome acts of derring-do reign supreme. These are books about life, about the strange and wonderful world in which amazing things happen to regular, ordinary people -- or so these authors would have us believe. Listening to Charles Martin's tale of two "lost" boys, I couldn't help but marvel at how little was happening -- and how much I couldn't bear for the book to end. There are momentous moments -- of course. But played down to the point that they become the stuff of every day -- which makes them all the more interesting.
I really loved this book. Narrator Andrew Peterson -- apparently not the same man as the author of the Nathan McBride books, which are also very good -- is perfect for the voice of the young journalist who tells the story. Parts of the book are very sad, other parts very funny, but nowhere does Martin veer away from just recounting the story as it happened. Nowhere does he feel the need to prove his writerly abilities, of which he appears to be abundantly blessed. "Chasing Fireflies" comes across as a simple tale, which has to be one of the very hardest things for a writer to do -- and one in which southern writers, in particular, seem to excel.
I highly recommend "Chasing Fireflies" -- as for me, my next purchase of a Charles Martin book won't be by mistake. I'll be seeking them out.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
This is the first audio book that I have listened to twice. The narration is great, the story is better. I don't know another tale that quite "strips" all the layers of one's soul down to the core, the way this one does. And really when it comes right down to it, our character and those we hold most dear, are all we truly have on this earth. But few ever come to realize this truth. Abandoned, neglected, and abused children find trust, acceptance and love in this amazing story . . . don't miss it . . . it is a clear picture of all that is WRONG in our world, unvarnished . . . and a little tiny window into just a few things that are still right.
This is by far some of the best adult fiction I have read in a long time. The story is captivating and I couldn't stop listening. Not often do you find a work of fiction that resonates with deep truth. Charles Martin manages to remind and teach us while telling a poignant tale of love and family. I will be on the lookout for more from this author.
What I was sure of years ago, I do not believe now. This makes me see how foolish it is to expect others to agree with me. F D Van Amburgh
Charles Martin's understanding of the adopted/abandoned child is profound. What your head knows has nothing to do with what your heart feels. This is a book written from the heart - to the heart and is appropriate for all ages.
Please buy this book. This man is a wonderful writer and the narrator is perfect. It grabs you from the beginning and you can't let go. It is wonderful. I truly enjoyed this book. Please write more!
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
I found this book on the sale rack and even though I'm not familiar with the author, the positive reviews and story summary encouraged me to take a chance. Although the book summary suggested an intriguing plot, it is more character driven than I expected, and the author’s ability to make me care about the characters is what had me riveted. The key was Uncle Willie and his commitment to doing the right thing for the foster sons in his care, no matter the sacrifice. He was the moral center to his family in the manner of Hans, the foster father in “The Book Thief”. Although there are two mysteries to solve, this is not an action thriller, but a gentle yet urgent push for the truth about the wrongs done to two young boys 20 years apart. My heart ached for both boys.
The plot is good, the writing a little loose in places, but it matched the personalities of the main characters, so actually seemed appropriate. More sentimental than I usually enjoy, and there were some convenient coincidences that made the story somewhat predictable. But bottom line, I just had to keep reading because I really liked these people. Placed in south Georgia, a location I am familiar with, the southern sensibilities and language made me feel right at home. Andrew Peterson’s reading is adequate - does not distract from the story but doesn’t noticeably add to it either, although his voicing of Uncle Willie is spot on - brings him to life. And if you are not familiar with the correct pronunciations of some south Georgia locations or with the names of past Atlanta Braves baseball players, you probably won’t mind that he messes up several of them – it did make me cringe a few times however.
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