Mar 15, 2017
Firefly Hollow Collection Vol 1 Books 1-3
Firefly Hollow Collection Books 1-3 By T.L Haddix
I love the cover art. I would have bought the book based solely on the Title and cover art. It just jumps out at me and says “I'm a great book”. It looks and sounds romantic, in a countryside possibly from a time years ago. And it was.
The book I read contains the first 3 books in the collection. To make it easier on myself, I'll write this as a review on each of the 3 books separately, then combine for final thoughts. So yeah, this will probably be a long review.
FIREFLY HOLLOW (Book 1)
This book starts out in 1954 (and spans about 7 years to the early 1960s) near what sounds like a very small rural town near Hazard, KY. The surrounding countryside is beautifully described by the author. In particular, the woods and pool that Sarah Jane Browning found when she was 15 years old. Never mind the fact that she's trespassing on her neighbor's land. I can see it in my mind and think, gosh, I wish I could go there.
All of the characters are described well and are believable, for the location and era of the book. The story covers the lives of Sarah Jane Browning, her immediate family, Owen Campbell, basic details of his immediate family. The main characters being Sarah and Owen.
When Sarah trespasses onto Owen's family's land and discovers the pool formed by natural boulders, rock ledges and rock shelves – it is the most beautiful and serene place she has ever seen. Through the years Sarah visits the pool regularly. That's not all Sarah found on the mountain though. What she found changes her life forever. (I'm deliberately not including spoilers in my review).
This is an excellent book. I'm glad the copy I have includes the next 2 books in the collection. I recommend this book, even as a stand alone, for ages 14 and up. There IS a bit of “intimate” activity in the book, but, in today's world, children have already been exposed to the facts of life and at least this book makes it beautiful.
…......... on to book #2 Butterfly Lane
BUTTERFLY LANE (Book 2) **
Book 2 picks up after Sarah and Owen are married. She discovered in Book 1, among other things, that Owen is the famous author H.O. McLemore, using his mother's maiden name to ensure anonymity and he's a shape-shifter.
1st thoughts on book 2: Hmmmm, do I like that page 1 tells me right off the bat that Owen and Sarah have 5 children spanning 10 years? Or do I feel like I lost 10 years?
Did the author have to tell me there are other talents and abilities among the children?
I accept that the book would have been too mundane and tedious if she didn't.
I enjoyed that Sarah and Owen were a part of this book also, older but still very much in love. The main characters of this book are their son John and the girl he marries, Zanny. The majority of the book was taken over by John & Zanny's marital problems. The book still portrays the Campbell family as having pretty great morals, while understanding that mistakes happen even in the best families. There was quite a bit of sexual activity in this book – but it was loving and tastefully written. [who doesn't enjoy some steamy content?]
Although the initial marital conflict was very realistic, the separation drug on way too long and was not very realistic.
It was nice to get a break from John & Zanny's prolonged marital problems and have some of the other family members included in the book.
My disappointment in the book Butterfly Lane:
For a book that's supposed to have shape-shifters and other paranormal “abilities” - there wasn't enough of it in the book to even be included in the books description.
I liked book 1 much better. Book 2, while an enjoyable read, was a bit of a disappointment. I can only hope book 3, Dragonfly Creek, will pick up the excitement level or I might not be able to complete the book.
At the moment I feel the need to read a whole different genre before I attempt book 3.
DRAGONFLY CREEK (Book 3) ***
October 1987, the story opens at the funeral service of Geneva Brewer, mother of Ainsley Brewer-Scott.
Ainsley speculates that most of the people who attend the funeral were there due to either curiosity or fear of retaliation.
In this book we learn that Geneva Brewer was a very rich, powerful and also very mean person. Her riches and power derived mostly from blackmail/extortion and corruption. Her worst atrocities were committed against her only child, Ainsely. To simply state that Ainsley's childhood to adulthood were a living hell would be a gross misstatement.
This 3rd book is predominately Ben Campbell and Ainsley Brewer-Scott. It alternates between each of their points of view, of their past to present.
I still love that the story is set in small country town of Hazard, KY. I love the simplicity of the characters, the strong family bond and the moral values of the Campbell's.
The story depicted is a “young love – missed opportunity”. Even though Ben and Ainsley both feel the instant connection with each other when they met shortly after high school the family dynamics with Ainsley's mother prevented them from being together. In an ironic twist, Ainsley's mother, or rather her death, is what brings Ainsley back to Hazard, KY where she runs in to Ben, who has only recently returned himself.
Their first meeting was full of anger and hurt, it didn't end very well.
Ben and Ainsley have a LOT of work ahead to unravel the cruel acts of her mother and circumstances forced upon them if they ever want to clear the past web of lies, hurt and deceit. After 5 years apart, until her mothers death, at last they can start anew to heal the deep hurt both were caused. The evil was unfathomable, the hurt deep but the courage to commit to love and trust can be glorious.
My disappointment in Dragonfly Creek:
From chapter 1 [other than the funeral] through chapter 7 [which is 73% of the book!] , I'm re-reading, almost word for word, book 2. There are a few paragraphs where new material emerges in the form of remembrances.
Chapter 8 > we FINALLY get to the new material and the story developed. This is at location 73%, 3/4ths of the book completed.
Final Impression of all 3 books contained in this ebook:
Book 1 – fabulous, Book 2 – boring, Book 3 – waited until the last 1/4th of the book for the awesome ending.
I received the book free in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinion nor rating of the book. Review to be posted on amazon, netgalley, goodreads and moonshineartspot.blogspot.com
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