Maggie ; When Crickets Cry ) offers the same brand of sentimental Southern storytelling that has en"/>
 

Chasing Fireflies: A Novel of Discovery

Charles Martin, Author
Charles Martin, Author . Thomas Nelson $22.99 (342p) ISBN 978-1-59554-056-0
Reviewed on: 04/02/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Paperback - 342 pages - 978-1-59554-325-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-59859-222-1
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-4416-1128-4
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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. (June)

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