Friday, April 24, 2009
Chasing Fireflies by Charles Martin
publisher: Thomas Nelson
When I first opened Chasing Fireflies by the obviously gifted storyteller Charles Martin, I was blown away. The writing was gorgeous. I knew I had found a kindred soul to W.Dale Cramer. As far as Southern fiction goes---Christian or non---this is one of the strongest contenders in years.
The prose is achingly beautiful, the plot intricate enough you can sink in, turn your brain on and wile away days---rather than speedy minutes--- unravelling the story.
There are some very re-affirming themes to the novel: love, family, the simplicity of a life scorned by mankind and ordained by God, destiny, miracles-in-ordinary and the need to find yourself through the concept of name.
For fans of well-written faith fiction, you will find a new favourite in Charles Martin's gorgeously spun Southern tale.
In some of the freshest and most scintillating prose in this genre, Martin tells us of history, secrets, family, love and the small joys that piece together the framework of warmth and humanity.
From fireflies in a mason jar to fishing and time on a lifeboat, journalist Chase Walker chases his past to better carve and understand a troubled kid's future.
This book comes highly recommend to readers of inspirational fiction who love a well-written character piece which is light on the preachy evangelism and heavy on the thematic symbolism.
I think Charles Martin integrates well into the secular and Christian markets. His Christianity is subtle: implied rather than stated.
I might like to see him preach a little more loudly in future novels.
That being said, there is deep meaning and heart in his work.
This novel rolled around in my head for days after I read it ----perhaps why it took so long for me to post about it.
In conclusion, I liked 80% of the novel---the other 20%---still rolling in my brain ---seem too melodramatic or in the vein of Nicholas Sparks.
But, praise to Martin for writing a novel so compelling it has taken me weeks to shake it out of my system.
more Charles Martin? go here
p.s. something to think about: I should probably chalk this up to the first person narrative of a young, brash journalist, but there is something almost cocky in Martin's prose. Can't quite put a finger on it....
hmm..... think I will have to read a little more before I can state this for sure. It could, indeed, be a well-played character trait in his p.o.v.