Adjectives to describe Dancing with Fireflies: Beautiful, Absorbing, and Pitch-Perfect.
It's a really good thing I began this book on a slow day at home, because once I started it I had a very hard time setting it aside. Jade's story is just that engaging. She's a colorful, passionate person. She has big dreams and bright eyes that are so green "God must have invented the shade just for her."
When people meet Jade, they remember her. They remember that she lives life with joyful abandon. Or she used to.
When Jade shows up on his doorstep one evening, and she was supposed to still be in Chicago, Daniel couldn't understand what had changed.
Daniel became Ryan McKinley's best buddy in middle-school, the whole McKinley family came along with the deal. Jade had been Daniel's honorary sister for years. He worried about the boy's who weren't good enough for her. He taught her to drive a clutch when she was 18. He watched from afar as she fell in love and then dealt with loss. And he never forgot the first time he saw her spinning on the lawn, dancing with fireflies.
The Jade who just returned is missing her sparkle. She seems lost, fragile, and desperate. Something bad happened, something broke her, and she's scared now and needs a friend.
Ad there's nobody better than Daniel to be Jade's helper and supporter.
What a fine, decent, kind man Daniel is in this story. His all around goodness and patience and willingness to slow down and listen and understand what was going on in Jade's inner world won my heart. Thank you Denise Hunter for introducing us to Daniel, whose generosity and gentleness stand out among literary heroes.
You nailed the romance in this story by beginning with the content of their character, and then adding real connection between them.
I also want to say that in far too many books, when a female character undergoes an assault or attack, it is dealt with in a most unreal manner. It is swept aside, brushed under the rug, and it makes me hate the whole book for being false about something that serious.
It was different with Jade's story: her trauma left her with PTSD. It lingered on in her memories and in her reactions. She was triggered into panic by various things, and she was clearly on a road to wholeness that wouldn't be traveled easily. The way that part of her story was told rang truer to life.
This novel is rich will memorable lines, it has many serious and sweet moments as people live this thing called Life, and sometimes it made me laugh out loud. Again, excellent book.
And....the Small Town is also presented here in all its zany glory, with its wild politics and the spare key to the county building not being hidden very well and the volunteer firemen being called away in the middle of a family dinner.
Thank you Litfuse for my review copy.
Denise Hunter is the award-winning author of 20 novels, including The Accidental Bride and Convenient Groom.
Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!