When paramedics find a malnourished six-year-old boy near a burning car that holds a dead woman, they wonder who he is—and why he won't speak. From the New York Times bestselling author of The Mountain Between Us comes a story of self-discovery, healing, and hope.
On a stifling summer day, an old Chevy Impala ignored the warning signals and was annihilated by the oncoming train. What no one realized until much later was that the driver had paused just before entering the tracks and kicked a small boy out of the car. A small boy with broken glasses who is clutching a notebook with all his might . . . but who never speaks.
Chase Walker was one of the lucky ones. He was in foster care as a child, but he finally ended up with a family who loved him and cared for him. Now, as a journalist for the local paper, he’s moved on and put the past behind him. But when he’s assigned the story of this young boy, painful, haunting questions about his own childhood begin to rise to the surface.
And as Chase Walker discovers, learning the truth about who you are can be as elusive—and as magical—as chasing fireflies on a summer night.
Praise for Chasing Fireflies:
“Colorful, memorable characters; Southern regional flavor that’s drop-dead accurate; and lyrical, intelligent writing make Chasing Fireflies an exceptionally good read.” —Aspiring Retail
“Martin understands the power of story and he uses it to alter the souls and lives of both his characters and his readers . . .” —Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author
Full-length emotive Southern fictionIncludes reading group guide for book clubsBonus! This e-book contains an excerpt from Long Way Gone.
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.
Story in story
I would consider this book not only great story telling but good insight into family; what creates a family, how a family loves and especially the relationship between father and son.
I reread this for the first time in 12 years or so. Sobbed for 20 minutes when I finished. Charles Martin has a way of getting under your skin, making the characters true to life. Plan to sleep very little after you pick this up!
This book made Charles Martin one of my favorite authors. It was the first of his books that I've read and have since read several more. Love how he can capture imagery through his words. Powerful story of grace and redemption.