cover image Firefly Cloak

Firefly Cloak

Sheri Reynolds, , read by Jenna Lamia. . HighBridge Audio, $32.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-59887-021-3

Lamia is fast becoming a treasure to the audiobook world—her reading of The Secret Life of Bees earned her an Audie nomination. Lamia's performance of Reynolds's novel is a thing of beauty, pitch perfect and dead on. The story of 14-year-old Tessa Lee, who, at seven, was abandoned along with her little brother, Travis, is elevated beyond Reynolds's (The Rapture of Cannan ) already poetic text by Lamia's exquisite and skillful interpretation. The pain and anger of abandonment mixed with the ache of yearning to see her ne'er-do-well mother again is made palpable by Lamia's uncanny empathy toward her characters. Lil, Tessa Lee's grandmother and caretaker, tries to hold on to and protect her growing and hurting granddaughter. Though all the characters shine, Lamia's depiction of Tessa Lee is inspired. This is fine acting, not just reading. As one hears Tessa Lee breathing and smiling along with her thoughts, it makes the listener smile, too. Simultaneous release with the Shaye Areheart Books hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 13). (May)