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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
A wonderful story that expertly handles the themes of family, love, art, and addiction, Fireflies: A Novel by Marie Minnich is lyrical and utterly entertaining. Readers will adore the way the author explores the climates of a troubled, addictive soul. Casey Cavanaugh is exceptionally intelligent, a writer and poet, but there is a part of her that diminishes her brilliance: she is prone to addiction. She wants one thing with all her soul — to get clean and join the academic ranks as a professor of literature? But can she overcome her addiction? Can she experience the freedom to live the kind of life she really wants? Read this book to discover how she struggles with the invading darkness of her addiction and the role a brother with his own problems plays in her journey.
One of the things that will immediately catch the attention of the reader is the setting, with its social ills and challenges. The reader is pulled in by the strong story points, the compelling characters, and the psychological depth of the story. Marie Minnich has an evocative style of writing that grips readers strongly. For instance, she makes readers feel the fear that invades the addictive person, the fear of getting sick and possibly dying. A powerful poetry runs through the narrative as she explores streams of consciousness. "If you don't fulfil me, I'll make you sick. I'll make you sicker than you have ever been in your life." It's the addiction speaking: "I live in your brain. I live in your broad stream. I live in your bloodstream." One immediately gets the feeling of the thoughts that run through the mind of a user and what fuels the addiction.
The author has a unique phraseology and it allows the reader to get into the reality of the book. Fireflies: A Novel features characters that many readers will easily relate to — they are real and they provoke strong feelings of empathy. This is a story with a great setting, a well-crafted plot, and powerful elements of entertainment. I enjoyed the writing as much as the story, but the characters will stay with me for long. Chaz and Casey are just riveting and they are a symbol of a society struggling with depression.