The Light of the Fireflies

The Light of the FirefliesThe Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A dark tale of family choices and bonds

One of the joys of reading translated books is experiencing a different sort of storytelling than what has become standard for American reading. This novel turned out to be a much darker story than I expected, focusing first on a ten-year-old child’s perspective of the absent world he lives in. The author leads us to believe as the child believes, that this basement world is the result of some apocalyptic fire that has ruined the world above. As the story progresses, changing character perspectives (none had a specific name) and time periods along the way, we discover unexpected truths that tilt the boy’s world on a wholly new axis. Finishing the book was much akin to surfacing from a ten-year darkness into the sweet seaside air of reality, having been affected by the reading in perpetuity.

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