July 13, 2013

A tender story with a paranormal twist

Firefly HollowFirefly Hollow by T.L. Haddix
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In Appalachia there are folk tales about shape shifters, among other legends. This story explores the shape shifter legends and how it impacts human relationships.

Owen Campbell has been a shape shifter since adolescence, an inherited trait that destroyed his relationship with his father, who never understood his condition. Out of love, his mother sends him to an uncle who is also a shifter, so that he can learn to control his gift.

Sarah Jane Browning loved to escape to the woods between Owen's home and her own, burying her teenage angst and misery near a beautiful pond. She and Owen don't meet in that wood, at least not that she knows of.

When I first started reading this story, having it start with a humiliated Sarah as a teenage high school student, I thought maybe this book would be more young adult/teen fiction. But during the early coarse of the novel Sarah grows up. The time frame is late 1950s to 1960s. It is told in third person point of view, but only from two points of view - Sarah's and Owen's. These POVs are skillfully intertwined and Haddix weaves a beautiful story that actually made me shed more than a few tears.

This grabbed my attention and my heart from the opening chapter. I can't wait to read the second book in the series.

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