• Title: Fireflies in December
  • Author: Jennifer Erin Valent
  • Released: 2008-12-22
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 344
  • ISBN: 1414324324
  • ISBN13: 978-1414324326
  • ASIN: 1414324324
From Little does anyone realize that simple Christian charity will inflame the bigots and hatemongers in this small Virginia town. Escalating episodes of horrific violence ensue, including sexual attacks directed at 13-year-old Jessilyn Lassiter, the novel’s narrator, after her white family takes in her black best friend, Gemma, when she is orphaned by a tragic fire. Winner of the Christian Writers Guild’s 2007 Operation First Novel contest, Valent has created a darkly evocative historical novel that boldly explores the divisive effects of unreasoning hatred, greed, and fear on a community already struggling with the economic and racial tensions caused by the Depression and exacerbated by the Ku Klux Klan. As these forces impact one family, childhood innocence is lost, but Valent’s characters also experience the affirmation of a deeper, more lasting faith. --Lynne Welch

Review "When her best friend Gemma's parents are killed in a house fire, Jessilyn Lassiter's parents take the girl in. Trouble is, the year is 1932, Gemma is black, the Lassiters are white, and they live in a small Virginia town. Spunky Jessilyn is 13 years old, but her story will appeal to readers of all ages. Winner of the Christian Writers Guild's 2007 Operation First Novel contest, Valent's debut is both heartwarming and hand-wringing as it shows how one family endured the threats small and large of a prejudiced community while maintaining moral integrity. The cast of characters is rich. Jessilyn's mother wrestles with the social cost of challenging convention, her father is a dream dad and the neighbor's wisdom is as spicy as her cake. Jessilyn's romantic interest and penchant for trouble keep the tone light while the plot reminds readers of the evil that ordinary human beings are capable of doing, even in the name of righteousness. The book stares down violence and terror, making its affirmation of surprising goodness believable." --Publishers Weekly, December 1, 2008, starred review

Little does anyone realize that simple Christian charity will inflame the bigots and hatemongers in this small Virginia town. Escalating episodes of horrific violence ensue, including sexual attacks directed at 13-year-old Jessilyn Lassiter, the novel's narrator, after her white family takes in her black best friend, Gemma, when she is orphaned by a tragic fire. Winner of the Christian Writers Guild's 2007 Operation First Novel contest, Valent has created a darkly evocative historical novel that boldly explores the divisive effects of unreasoning hatred, greed, and fear on a community already struggling with the economic and racial tensions caused by the Depression and exacerbated by the Ku Klux Klan. As these forces impact one family, childhood innocence is lost, but Valent's characters also experience the affirmation of a deeper, more lasting faith. --Booklist, December 1, 2008

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