Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Firefly Cloak - Sheri Reynolds [August/06]

I had heard of this author before, but this is the first time I had read anything by her. My friend had bought it because she thought it sounded good, and lent it to me. From the flap:

When eight-year-old Tessa Lee and her brother, Travis, are abandoned in a campground by their desperate mother and her boyfriend of the moment, they are left with only two things: A phone number written in Magic Marker on Travis's back and their mother's favourite housecoat, which she leaves wrapped around her sleeping children. This housecoat, painted with tiny fireflies, becomes totemic for Tessa Lee, providing a connection to her past and to the beautiful mother she lost.

Seven years later, when word arrives that her mother has been spotted working at a tourist trap on a seaside boardwalk not far from where Tessa Lee lives, she sets off on a dangerous journey to try to recover what has been taken from her.

Steeped in the rich Southern atmosphere for which Sheri Reynolds has long been hailed, FIREFLY CLOAK is a vivid coming-of-age novel of family, loss, and redemption.

Firefly Cloak is one of those coming of age type novels. I was first attracted to the book because of the title. I thought it was a very original title, and was curious why it was called that. To find out that it is just named after a housecoat that looks like it has fireflies on it is disappointing, but it was still a decent read.

When I told someone about this book, I was telling them about all the rotten luck that happens in this novel and they automatically pointed out that it must be a very depressing novel. I thought for a second, and you know what, it isn't really. The Memory Keepers Daughter was depressing. It is just the mood of the novels. For some reason, although there were equally bad things happening in this book, I didn't feel depressed about it. Unlike The Memory Keepers Daughter where I felt depressed reading it. So, the book has points for that.

Now, I know, I should be writing this review, but I think the blurb covers it well. I am just thinking about the depressing qualities of novels and what makes you want to put them down. I think someone else posted about this... Mailyn maybe? I have to check my blogs, but I am more interested in the saddness factor. How sad is too sad, so sad that you have to put the novel down?

For me, I don't know if there is a certain formula. There are certain moments in books, though, that I feel sad reading them and I carry on. I think when I am in a cheerful mood, though, the last thing I want to do is reading a book that you can't help feeling for the characters. It is probably a good thing, when you can get involved in a story and feel for the characters, but sometimes, I think that happens too much.

Ah, I know how to word it better, what emotions will turn you off a book? And, is it enough to stop entirely, or do you keep reading in the quest for the happy ending? And, what happens when a book doesn't have a happy ending, do you feel like it wasn't a good conclusion?

Oh, I give Firefly Cloak a 4/5.

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