The Light of the Fireflies

Reading Kindle First books is a fun experience for me so far. Each month Kindle offers me a choice from a selection of books that will be released the following month. I get a discounted price on them, and get to choose one for free. With the buzz about the movie Room and the book the movie is based on, I thought a similar book would be interesting. I didn’t read Room and I didn’t watch the movie, and I will be honest reading The Light of the Fireflies began as my own way of not having to know all about Room, but to be somewhat engaged. This is a fictional account of kids being born into a situation of trauma, pain, suffering, manipulation, and lies in an underground home. I hoped it would keep me from being emotionally involved to the point of living the terror by not being analyzed and discussed by everyone around me. I have discovered I am very personal about reading, and reading something after or before it is popular help me enjoy it far more.

I was gripped by this book. When I got to 50% one night it was about 2 in the morning, and I thought to myself I should go to sleep. Instead I finished the book! It was that kind of book. I had to get to the end and know what was going on in this basement and what was wrong with these people! So, let me tell you the general premise of the book without giving anything away.

This is the story of a boy born in a basement underground. His entire family lives in the basement and they never leave. His family consists of the youngest boy who we follow, his older brother and even older sister, mom, dad, and grandma, and The One Who Wasn’t There, a seventh person who never eats the meal laid out at the seventh place. As we flash through his life we find many haunting and disturbing pieces in their lives below the ground. For instance, never leaving the basement for ten years, how did his sister have a baby? Who’s the father? And also why doesn’t anyone have a name in this book?

This is a book that you enter knowing it will be creepy, dark, and tragic, but the twists had my head spinning. This book was beyond crazy! I don’t want to give anything away if you decide to read this book. I will say that this is not a book for kids (I hope that was obvious).

This book was translated from Spanish, but I couldn’t even tell. It was beautifully written and engaging throughout.

If you like analyzing a book or people, or are into psychology, this book has millions of layers for you to unravel. This unraveling family has so much baggage that it is surprising there is any room in that basement. Like not ever using names in the book. It seems as though over time they stop thinking of each other as human at all. Or perhaps the fire that caused them to go down into the basement was something more dehumanizing than just a fire. The secrets, lies, and abuse swirling through that basement cause such damage.

Title: The Light of the Fireflies

Author: Paul Pen

Translator: Simon Bruni

Place: The Basement

Publisher: AmazonCrossing

Publication Date: April 1, 2016

# Pages: 338

Special Features: Mystery, Suspense, Trapped Underground, Dysfunctional Family

Price: Free with Kindle Unlimited, $5.99 to buy on Kindle, $7.55 in paperback from Amazon

ASIN: B016A31ZWC

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Author: Annie Liss

Currently a mother and a wife who loves reading. Formerly a middle school math teacher who kept too busy and stressed out to read. My husband and I are missionaries in Lebanon.

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