Wednesday, June 6, 2018
The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen
The book centers around the youngest boy of a family who is living in their basement and will not go upstairs, due to an "incident" involving his older, mentally ill brother. The boy, whose name is never provided, is growing quite suspicious of the family and the abuse of his sister. As he starts to understand some of the lies his family has been feeding him for years and years, he wants to leave.
My first complaint is how none of the characters have any names! So that made the story confusing at times. I also cannot agree at all with the themes or the ending, or the tone of the book, which felt sexist and absurd. The girl who is mature, selfless and sensible is abused by the family and blamed, all while the eldest son, who is awful and evil and a criminal is protected and loved? The story is completely backwards and sad.
In some parts of the world it is like this where women are treated like garbage but instead of acknowledging that it is wrong and giving a lesson, the main character reflects years later and defends his parents and says that family always comes first? The daughter (who deserves a name!) is family, and she deserves protection. Readers enjoy the main character, the youngest son, and expect him to become better than his family, but yet becomes poisoned by their thoughts and fails to get away when he has the chance.
There are essentially two points of view for this book. Either the importance of family goes above criminal actions, or doing the right thing is the most important, no matter how painful. However, both do show how our upbringing impacts how we view the world and the moral choices we make. The Light of the Fireflies is surprisingly very well written, and the mystery drew me in a lot. I also do think that the book was fascinating, and it was a very captivating read. While I dislike the main idea and theme, it was a decent book.
Even though I disagree with the main idea, I do sort of recommend this book.
Title: The Light of the Fireflies
Author: Paul Pen
Rating: 3 Stars