My Firefly


Non-Fiction - Social Issues
528 Pages
Reviewed on 05/06/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Creative writing has been a passion since the age of three when Maggie had a big red book of Grimm's Fairy Tales. Unable to read at that age, she slept with the book under her pillow with her hand tucked between the pages in the hope that the words would come to her in her sleep.

Her love of the written word and the physical & mental process of creative writing has led her to test the waters of the Fantasy Fiction genre.

Maggie is available for speaking engagements with schools and Survivors via live online video messaging and is committed to bringing awareness to the residual effects of Child Abuse, Sexual Assault, and Violent Crimes.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite

My Firefly by Maggie Kirton is a gritty narrative that explores one young woman’s journey through a series of abuse by her family, especially her father — physical, emotional, and sexual - told from the perspective of the house the protagonist lived in. The first sentences of the prologue are intriguing and they compel the reader to ask pertinent questions: “Fiction? Perhaps. I really can’t be all that sure. I’ve been rather numbed to reality over the years.” From the very first page of the narrative, the reader is introduced to the violence, the meanness of the father who takes every opportunity to abuse her in unimaginable ways. Readers will understand the effects of the abuse in the life of the child as she grows older. Can she ever overcome the pain? Can the emotional and psychological wounds heal? How about her self-image? How about her sexual health? These are questions that readers need to find answers to themselves.

This book isn’t an amateurish kind of work. It is clean, mellifluous and evocative in style. It’s one of the best indictments of child abuse perpetrators I have read in years, a story told in a brutally honest tone, unalloyed when it comes to capturing graphic images. Told by the house, it is a powerful reminder to readers who notice instances of child abuse and stay quiet. One can imagine the courage it took to write this book, but it is a gem of rare beauty, a work that speaks the truth about an evil to which many young boys and girls are subjected. My Firefly is an emotionally charged, compelling memoir of abuse that will bring tears to the eyes of readers while allowing them to connect with the solitude of the abused, their pain, and their deepest fears. Maggie Kirton writes about a sensitive issue with brilliance and rare honesty, and it is no wonder — given the mature language — that the book is addressed to mature readers, and especially those who are silent in the face of crimes committed against children. A book that explores the psychology of a monster in the name of a father.

Viga Boland

In 2013, I wrote the following opening lines to a poem:

“What goes on behind those doors?
Beneath the rafters, between the floors?”

I doubt Maggie Kirton ever read my poem before she wrote her creative memoir of incest, My Firefly, wherein she uses a house, rather than herself, to narrate her heartbreaking story of childhood abuse, but as I tore through the pages, I realized how similarly she and I, and most likely all of us who have been victims of incest think and feel: only the house that surrounds us knows what really happened. That’s why it will be all of us “Maggies” who will most understand Maggie Kirton’s allegorical narrative memoir, My Firefly.

After reading such memoirs, one of the first thoughts that spring to mind is “no child should ever have suffered like this at the hands of a parent.” But what the author endured at the hands of her father was only the beginning of years of agonizing pain, feelings of blame and shame, along with disassociation, a sense of being weird, and rejection by those who should have loved and helped her. Couple this with that most difficult part of being a victim of abuse i.e. believing all of this really happened to you, along with the hesitation and fear of telling anyone about your experiences, and you better understand why Kirton uses the allegory of a house and the “insects” that live with you and inside you, instead of just narrating as herself and giving actual names to those who hurt her so badly. If readers can think outside the box on this approach, they will realize just how brilliant Kirton’s style is. It’s creative, refreshing and poetic.

The details of the actual abuse, along with the shock treatments, the drugs, the starvation on the streets and all that followed are horrific. But all of it failed to diminish that tiny glow that the “house” knew was inside Maggie Kirton, the “firefly”. The title, My Firefly, is most appropriate: the house waits for her to show the world her beautiful glow. In writing this book, that is exactly what Maggie Kirton has done: she has shone a light on the full extent of the lifelong damage such abuse causes. By doing so, she encourages others like us to speak out from under abuse, no matter how painful. Thank you, Maggie Kirton, for joining the rest of us authors who don’t just ask, “why me” but say “why not me?” “Why shouldn’t I tell the world what happened and help others who can’t yet speak for themselves?” Bravo, Firefly!

Gisela Dixon

My Firefly by Maggie Kirton is a powerfully gripping true tale about childhood physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. In this book, Maggie tells her story through the voice and point of view of the silent “house” she lived in where the earliest part of her abuse began. The house names the various people living in the house as various insects, and so Maggie becomes the Firefly while her father, who is the sexual perpetrator, is the Hornet. The story is one of a dysfunctional family with an abusive, almost sadistic father and a mother who turns a blind eye to things. Maggie’s two siblings are the favored ones in the family and, as a result, the brunt of her father’s violence falls on Maggie which includes whippings, starvation, neglect, brutal beatings, rape, to name just some of it. Eventually, she is put in a boarding school where she is at least able to get away from her father, but the cycle of abuse and all of its long-term repercussions is not so easily broken as Maggie deals with living in foster homes, drugs, homelessness, even thinking of prostituting herself for food, abusive relationships with men, and such. However, she does find genuine love in her children and this is her story told from her earliest years to the present.

My Firefly by Maggie Kirton is a candid and at times graphic novel of cruelty and abuse of a child at the hands of her parents, and especially her father. The writing is raw, gritty, and perceptive as we get a glimpse into the mind and thought process of a victim of such physical and sexual abuse, and how daydreams and fantasies sometimes play such a role as a denial and coping mechanism. One thing I really appreciated and admired was that Maggie does not seem to have let the cycle of abuse continue through generations, as is so often unfortunately the case. She comes across as a parent who loves her children unconditionally and is genuinely trying to do the best for them! A book like this really makes one think about abuse cases and the need for all of us to listen and observe a child, even when they can’t speak up, and step in to help when needed.

Bryna Sherr

This book was gripping and heart rending. The viewpoint of the House was very original. I highly recommend this book. It shows the perseverance of the human spirit.

Robin Moody

My Firefly. Loved by Wynterblue. She loved him too. They both suffered and the house was her refuge and her witness. Emotion after emotion washed over me and through me as I read this book. You will experience it too as you read because you cannot remain in the dark about abuse as My Firefly shines her light.

By the end of the book My Firefly shines ever brighter. I rejoice in the strength and wisdom of her words that speak the unspeakable. She takes the evil and turns it into good by telling her truth. Powerful. This book will open your eyes if you let it. And it will change your perception of an abuser. They hide in plain sight.

A brave and talented writer. I'm looking forward to more books by
Maggie Kirton.