This award-winning, coming-of-age gem by Jennifer Erin Valent recounts one farm family's struggle against racial bigotry in Depression-era Virginia.
When Jessilyn's parents begin raising her best friend as their own daughter, this kindness toward a dark-skinned orphan triggers threats and violence. While teetering on the brink of womanhood, Jessilyn must learn to be a shining light in a dark world.
©2008 Jennifer Erin Valent; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
"Winner of the Christian Writers Guild's 2007 Operation First Novel contest, Valent has created a darkly evocative historical novel that boldly explores the divisive effects of unreasoning hatred, greed, and fear on a community already struggling with the economic and racial tensions caused by the Depression and exacerbated by the Ku Klux Klan." (Booklist)
Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.
overtly preachy. Reads a bit like "Cold Sassy Tree" or the "Education of Little Tree" and felt more like reading a Newberry teen book rather than an adult novel. There are a couple internal inconsistancies in the book, few rough spots in the dialog and I had to suspend my disbelief a couple of times where the plot and situation felt forced. However, for a first novel this is fantastic. I enjoyed the 1932 Southern setting, coming of age theme and strong family values. Good narration.
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.
Depression era Virginia and families with black farm hands still working on their farms . . . the more things change, the more they stay the same . . . until a fire killed little Gemma's parents, leaving her orphaned . . . and the Lassiter family (the family her folks had worked for) took her in as their own . . . Jessie Lassiter, thirteen years old and Gemma had always been best friends . . . but even Jessie had no idea how taking Gemma in would change things . . . in the south, you never knew who to trust, who was KKK and who wasn't . . . through the bravery and steadfast love of the Lassiter family, one day at a time, Gemma was kept safe . . . Fireflies in December is a story told through the eyes of Jessie, a young girl, turning into a woman, learning to defend herself, her family, her friend and her own beliefs . . . in a time in our history that doing so could have cost her her life . . . the tale is beautifully and courageously told, and is different than many books of this genre . . . it isn't filled with bitterness and anger, but with faith and conviction . . .
Probably in the second 20%. There were a few I really loved and this would be right behind those. Definitely would recommend
The perseverance of the family
this was my first - she was excellent!
Probably Otis - just wasn't as well developed
I had the privilege of reading this book many years ago before it was published. I was given a copy of the book on typed pages from a friend of the author. I absolutely fell in love with the book then and fell in love with it again. There are some books that stay with you forever and this is one of them. I would love to see an adaptation for the screen someday. I recommend this book and hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Beautiful sentiment and beautifully written and narrated. Although Jessie does get herself in a lot of trouble - she is very likeable. Highly recommended.
It's truthfulness. That's also what I hated about it!
The Help perhaps because of the racial story line.
No, I haven't.
I can't remember her name but the woman who took the two girls into town for lunch. Why, because she is brave.
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