Gateway Gazette

From My Bookshelf: Chasing Fireflies

By Lynn Willoughby

Chasing Fireflies ~ Charles Martin

When a small, mute, malnourished boy is found by the police standing near the railroad tracks, Chase Walker is assigned to cover the story.  Not only is the boy covered in ant bites, but his naked torso and arms are covered with scars abuse – some are old, some are oozing.  Who is he?  CAN he talk?

As Chase visits the boy in the local hospital he discovers the boy’s talent for drawing.  John Doe #117 doesn’t need to speak to communicate! When the boy, “Sketch”, is released from hospital he is placed in foster care with Willee and Lorna MacFarland – Chase’s own foster parents.  And the author skillfully weaves the stories of past and present, Chase and Sketch in a way that is truly masterful.

I find Martin’s writing spellbinding.  His characters are real.  His descriptions of the marsh, of Willee teaching the boy to fish, going to an Atlanta Braves baseball game, Chase learning from Sketch how to play chess – these leave me torn between racing to finish the book and not wanting it to end.  I found myself writing several endings for this novel as I went about my daily chores, and was not disappointed when I closed the cover.  This is a good read!

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Who Knew?

In 1886 fifty three members of what became know as the “First Name Club”, bought Jeykell Island from John Eugene DuBignon.  It was off the coast of Georgia.  The membership was set at $1 million each and that was just to set foot on the island.  Members included J.P. Morgan, William Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller and Joseph Pulitzer.  It is widely believed that the fifty-three members controlled one sixth of the wealth of the world.

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