About the book: They have one summer to find what was lost long ago. "Never settle for less than the truth," she told him. But when you don't even know your real name, the truth gets a little complicated. It can nestle so close to home it's hard to see. It can even flourish inside a lie. And as Chase Walker discovered, learning the truth about who you are can be as elusive--and as magical--as chasing fireflies on a summer night. A haunting story about fishing, baseball, home cooking, and other matters of life and death.
First line: I stepped out into the sunlight humming a Pat Green tune, slipping on my sunglasses, and stared out over the courthouse steps.
My Thoughts: This 2008 Christy Award winner is the first Charles Martin novel I have read and I found that I liked. I will read more by this author. The parallel stories of a six year old abandoned boy, and that of Chase, who had been taken in as a young boy by Unc, and that of Tommy, Chase's cousin, are told intertwined with the digging out of family secrets that Chase is determined to bring to light. It is a beautifully written story of a father and son, of love of family, of sacrificial love. The sense of place is great. It jumped back and forth between the past and present but was easy to keep up with. The character of Unc was so well drawn and was such a wonderful person. One part of the book I just couldn't understand, a small part to be sure, had to do with an action Unc took. It was just so...un-Unc like. It is a spoiler so can't say here what it is but if you read this book you'll find it. I would suggest this novel to anyone, it was sad and sweet and ultimately satisfying. Just keep your tissues near to hand.
Quote: "Inside you is a thing worth putting on a pedestal--worth putting out there for all the world to see. That piece of rock might been knocked around, roughed up a bit, considered scrap, and thrown on the trash pile...but that's only because they don't know what's on the inside. They can't see like Michaelangelo. 'Cause if they could, they'd know that there's something in there that's just waiting to jump out. Like there is inside you. I'm sorry for the hammer and chisel. I wish life didn't work that way. Just remember...the velvet cloth ain't far behind."