July 17, 2016
K. L. Romo

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Review of A Promise of Fireflies by Susan Haught

Promise of FirefliesA Promise of Fireflies wraps us in the turmoil of a woman lost to herself, her life splintering into disconnected pieces that she can’t seem to put back together. But what she finally discovers amid the remnants will change her life forever.

Ryleigh Collins has just lost her mother, and grieves for the person who always gave her sunshine on cloudy days.

Not far from here, Ryleigh had brushed through her mother’s hair as white as the roses she so loved and held her misshapen hands for the last time. It seemed peculiar how quickly the memory had become engraved on her mind like the names carved in granite.

But while sorting her mother’s belongings, Ryleigh discovers her mother wasn’t quite the person she thought she knew so well.  After deciding to pursue answers to the riddles left behind, Ryleigh finds that the family she thought she had was only an illusion, white roses and fireflies defining the part of her life she knew nothing about.

Life’s earthquakes rattle our lives – sometimes they are mere tremors that moderately rock your world. Sometimes they split the earth beneath your feet and swallow you into hell. Then there are tornadoes – dust devils that stir the dirt a bit…then quickly die. But sometimes they pick you up, spin you around, and toss you to Oz. Life is not about how to survive… – it is how you weather the storm and your actions in the wake of the aftermath. You must learn to dance in the rain.

Ryleigh has had no enthusiasm for life since her husband Chandler left her for another woman. Now their divorce is final, and she grieves for the loss of her husband, and for the absence of her almost-grown-son’s father. Even writing her column at the local newspaper doesn’t excite Ryleigh anymore, not to mention the unfinished novel she just hasn’t had the enthusiasm to complete. Ryleigh is paralyzed in the quicksand of her life.

To remain in the shadows of grief seemed effortless. To move forward, an unwelcomed burden. Yet life drifted by – air, light, and sound. Only she stood lifeless.

Then a favor done for her best friend surprises Ryleigh with an unexpected chance for the love and romance she thought were forever lost to her. Or is she just torturing herself with what might have been?

Save for the occasional hiss of pitch from the fire, the room remained quiet. No one to remind her how silly she’d been. No one to emphasize her uncanny ability to create fiction from nothing more than an indiscriminate kiss and an overactive imagination, a talent that should have remained an imaginary scene on a disconnected flash drive.

Will Ryleigh Collins unravel the truth about her family? And will she ever know true love and trust again?

Susan Haught has woven a tale of loss and love, the search for truth and forgiveness, and the rebirth of souls which have lost their purpose. Her lyrical writing style painted magical images of both beauty and grief, thrusting me into the acute emotions of her characters. I was lost in Ryleigh’s pursuit of love, and her compromise with loss.

A Promise of Fireflies is a promise to its readers: they will be engulfed in a rich and tantalizing romance one can only dream about, and the gift of finally dancing in the rain.

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