Monday, September 15, 2014

Fireflies by P. S. Bartlett


The Whelan family is a large Irish family who are a loving and happy group.  The father is a doctor and one of his sons is training to follow in his footsteps.  The oldest daughter would like to follow that path also but doesn’t know if it will be open to her. The eldest son is in love and wants to start his own family and business.  The second daughter is waiting to find true love.  One son is interested in being an author.  One son is a leader and rallies the troops every morning for his mother.  And there is little Ennis.  He is six years old and adorable.  He loves everyone and has a happy disposition.
We first meet Ennis when he finds an injured little bird and he wishes that it would get better and fly away……..and it does.  This is just the beginning of special things happening to Ennis and how it affects him and his family is the core of this story.
I couldn’t help but love the Whelans.  They were all strong characters and they all had good values and faith.  Sarah, their mother, had  been born to wealth in Ireland but circumstances brought her to America and she forged a good life as a hard working wife and mother without all the niceties she was used to.
Owen, their father was understanding and kind and loving.  He clung gladly to the normalcy of his family.  He too lived in Ireland before coming to America under some unusual circumstances.
Teagan, the daughter who wanted to be a doctor was a wonderful character.  She had the usual problems of a young woman about to fall in love with her life long friend but she also had the determination to forge her own path as a doctor.
Liffy, the second daughter, was a dreamy teenage girl who was hoping love would find her and sweep her off her feet.  I really wanted that to happen for her.
Connor and Fagan, the two eldest boys, were strong and handsome and were pursuing the young ladies they hoped to make their wives.
The middle brothers were less prominent characters but were nice boys with their own interests.
That brings me back to Ennis.  This boy was so well written that I was really impressed.  He was a typical six year old until the things happening to him began to make him seem older than his years.  This was a boy who accepted his role and embraced it.  I loved how the author kept Ennis’ innocence in spite of the events surrounding him.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to read it.  It is not a YA book but is certainly appropriate for any teen.  As an adult, I thought it unusual and intriguing as well as beautifully written.