[Reading] ➾ FIREFLY By Whitney Hamilton – Dolove.info
In Firefly Whitney Hamilton created a beautiful combination of a historical Civil War novel with a lesbian romance trend The story seems to be written after Henry Kieler s journal, it starts in July 31st, 1861 in Charleston, South Carolina at the begining of the Cold War when the news comes to Grace s home that her brothers Henry, William and Hamilton and her husband Luscious had died in the War and shortly her parents die too and shortly they have lost their big home into the Great Charleston Fire and their Columbia farm very soon and Grace and her sister Louise decide to join the war as their brothers Henry and Will, while Lucy is pregnant and has the fever and it is left behind at some aquaintances The story ends in July 13th, 1866 in Shepherdstown, West Virginia when Henry finanlly finds his home into Virginia s arms marrying her as an arrangement to help her not to lose her farm Remember, in those times many men died and women were alone and without rights because the men in the family had all the rights according to the laws and women had none, that s why when Virginia s husband Oliver died all the propriety rights went her brother in law Loyd, her sister s Jessie husband who was secretly in love with Virginia and very jealous on Henry Firefly is a huge surprise regarding the expectations from the characters Henry Grace mysteriously starts his her journey and it follows in the same undertone of disguise on his her road less taken to maturity from the high society mistress grace to a soldier that witnesses the horrors of the American Civil War including the martyr of his her sister Louise and finally into Virginia s shy husband in disguise And there s Virginia, a usual housewife from the south to whom the War has stolen her sight, her child, her husband and almost her property, yet not her feminine surface and the beautiful intimacy between her soul and her heart and her mind engulfed in her body and her need to love and belong altogether with the southern hospitality that turns her into the strong woman that although being blind manages to conquer Henry s heart and to follow and fulfill her destiny.Grace needs to get lost into Henry s identity in order to survive and willingly takes the burden of war onto him, perhaps in search of forgetting the death of her family members or perhaps out of innocence she becomes him, yet holds a tenderness and a self consciousness that melts Virginia s heart Henry fights with Louise as Will and Robert and Joseph, yet she has to witness her pregnant sister s brutal death and swears she will find Eliza, Louise s daughter They meet Virginia while they were heading towards Gettysburg and she was very scared with Sophie in her arms, her daughter and they take her silver service, yet Joseph will return it after the war After his sister s death, Henry deserts the army and lives in the woods with a boy, Jamison, he saved from a dangerous situation, Grace was dust and now Henry just needed to survive, but when Jamison is badly hurt by Indians and he let himself go in the river, Henry s heart sank and he was also wounded, had an X marked on his chest and in search of work he arrives at Virginia s farm right on time to help her keep the land.Virginia s life was beautiful with her husband Oliver, although she feared everytime he left their cabin at the farm from down the Appalachian Mountains to join the war, especially now when she was pregnant with his child She helps her sister Jessie to tend the wounded and Oliver dies in her arms and she s badly wounded and lost her sight , yet gives birth to her daughter Sophie right there between the hospital s bricks, it s a miracle She lives with her sister a while and when for the first time she stays the night at the cabin, she meets Henry and Joseph, but she loses Sophie who dies of the cold She s shattered and involves herself into silence until she meets an old mistress who offers her a home and the chance to become a piano teacher to the children in town, there she meets to women that love each other Anna and Katie, yet the funding is off after some time and she decides to come back to her cabin at the farm after her brother in law had tend to it a bit after winter and then she meets Henry.Virginia was created very imaginative, with a strong sense of tenderness, kindness, intimacy and self conscious, she studies her feelings towards her husband, she learns so much together with her blindness comes a whole new world of wanders, she ties knots and creates phrases that speak her own mind, she s intuitive, her other senses are sharper now, her sense of smell, her capacity to empathize and to sense things deeper, she can read people with her mind s eye As a reader I fell in love with Virginia s combination of beauty, tenderness, intimacy and strength of will Henry too, that s why he accepted her marriage proposal, that s why he helped her save the farm, that s why he left when Grace couldn t understand the fact that she loved a woman Virginia found out so much about herself in loving Henry and how her sensations differ and how her feelings deepen for a boy that hasn t even kissed her, she will kiss him and he ll kiss her back after a long time, yet this waiting creates the love that makes their hearts last with hope and with a love beyond eternity.https inkmarksonemptydreams.com 201 Such a heartfelt book I didn t want to put it down 4.5 stars Grace Kieler Had A Comfortable Life In Charleston Until The Outbreak Of The Civil War After Losing Everyone But Her Sister And Surviving The Great Fire Of Grace Found Herself In The Uniform Of Her Dead Confederate Brother, Henry, Her Sister Donning The Gray Of Their Little Brother, Will Both Fought At Antietam But Only One SurvivedAfter The War Grace, Still Living Her Life As Henry, Tries To Find Work During Spring Planting Near Shepherdstown, West Virginia Henry Finds Himself On A Farm Owned By A Blind Widow, Virginia Klaising As Henry S Secret Becomes Harder To Conceal The Two Realize They Have Something Precious An Unspoken Candor That Reveals The Soul They stopped and stood in a circle He looked up into the enemy and knew that these were the last faces he would ever see And strangely their faces seemed to be filled with empathy and Henry knew they saw themselves in him With the civil war raging, Grace and her sister Louise find themselves fighting as their brothers Henry and Will, after losing all of their family to the war Sadly Henry Grace is the only one of her family to make it out of the war alive This book is such a powerful and moving book, with bold deviations into the brutality of the War It is told through Henrys and Virginias POV which coincide with each other to show two sides of the same coin What I really liked about this is along with the story it also has journal entries written by Henry Grace throughout and after the war.For the record, I LOVED this book and It s a shame books like these don t get recognition, because with a powerful and emotional backdrop this book is a Diamond amongst rocks I found myself divulged into Henrys world as he struggles with the pain, hope and anguish of war and how it changes a person Henry finds love along his perilous journey to escape the remnants of the war but is never sucsessful until he meets Miss Virginia, a Widow blinded by the war I just adored Virginia she is the hope and faith that restores Henrys humanityOpen a vein Go ahead, Open it In fifty years the war will seem like a myth to the two generations after us, Henry They will romanticize it And the brutality and horror will be conveniently erased so that it will appeal to the children who will beg you and I to tell our stories And when a six year old asks you, will you open a vein for him This book was fantastic, the attention to detail that miss Hamilton has gone into is exceptional And I will rave about it because, personally I dislike war books, but this, FIREFLY, was something much, much It was graphic, personal, prolific, beautiful, mesmerising, captivating the list goes on It is a must read for anyone.Fully five stars worth And it was under 5 on the kindle store But it is worth so much When you first get this book, preempt all the other books you re currently reading because this one is worth your undivided attention The only downside to this book is it needed a better editor.After 2 pages, though, the content stole my attention This book really grabbed my emotions and connected deeply with me Anyone who s felt love and or loss before can easily connect Since I ve lost some good friends lately, it was hard at times to tell whether or not I was feeling my own feelings or feeling what the characters felt, as strange as that may seem There are many beautiful turns of phrases and amazing ideas that sound poetic, but unlike poetry, those ideas can be understood easily Like I said, just a book that connects on a very visceral level.This book is than beautiful writing, though The author s great eye for historical detail makes it even pleasurable to read, but this book also deals with the lack of job opportunities choices that women faced in a rough era and how women couldn t really function without men unless they became one The book also deals with modern issues and shows that gender and sexuality are fluid and can t be defined in rigid terms This piece shows how it s possible to fall in love with someone whom one is not supposed to fall in love with.Whether or not you re into dissecting books themes and meanings, this is just one hell of a read and well worth it I m proud to have it on my bookshelf and will re read it someday. My rating of 3 stars is lower than many other ratings This is for me one of the most difficult books to give a rating to, or to write a review for.This is because this book actually has everything that makes a book extraordinary For me this is the most special, emotional, tender and beautiful love story I ve ever read And yet, these facts makes it also the most unsatisfied love story that I ve read.Major spoilers coming up, so you better first read the book view spoiler I got a useful tip that the first half is a little hard to read So I was prepared to be a patient reader Now I must first say that I am someone who thinks that the romantic story line of a book is very important Because it s the main reason for me to read a book This was my biggest problem and glory with this book The structure of the story is sublime The depth of the characters is amazing The sub characters are of the highest quality And maybe Henry Grace and Virginia are the most special main characters that I have ever read and shall read.For me it toke to long for Henry and Virginia to meet When it finally happens, it was so special that I tried to cherish every sentence When the books ended, I thought This can t be it It was just starting to get to the essence of the relationship between Henry and Virginia I was left with so many questions I had a feeling that the best part was just ripped out en was never replaced I eagerly awaited their first intimate scene But it never came My god What a heart melting scene that could have been For Virginia And Henry to make love, while for the first time knowing all the facts en secrets they have been living That could have been the most beautiful love scene ever After I finished it, I was so disappointed that part of the beauty and charm faded because of all the untold unfulfilled wanting I was left with.The part that made this book special for me was That two people can live through so much evil and sorrow That they have so many setbacks, that it becomes unbearable And that these to strong souls meet, within circumstances that are very difficult And that against all odds and there are quite a few they still have the courage to love and be loved That makes this book an ode to true love And shows how courageous these two women actually are hide spoiler I would have given this novel 4 stars except it was spoiled for me by the poor proof reading Loads of grammatical errors, words missing and, at one point, a character gets called the wrong name The paragraph spacing was also tight and not indented on the Kindle digital version that I read.It was a shame because this is a well written, well paced and intriguingly different story I enjoyed the style of the writing and thought the characters journeys believable Hamilton s quality of prose and research are not in doubt, but she needs to get a decent proof reader. Great beginning and then..The first half of this book was magnificent and then, without warning, it faltered The pity party Henry Grace indulged in became repetitive and extremely annoying Self involved and boring Fell in love at the drop of a hat, even with a man with the mind of a child Virginia was by far the better character Strong, independent, refusing to give in to tragic events in her life Virginia s hardship made her a better person Henry Grace never achieved anything close to being a better person Just wallowing in misery of his her on making Why Virginia cared at all is beyond my ability to understand Grace would have never had the courage to do the things Virginia or Louise did A regrettable second half to what should have been a very good book. It seems that everyone who reviews this book pulls a different thing out of the text that struck them for some people, that was a connection with the humanity of the characters for others, there was a craving for focus on the relationships available Certainly the book held a certain yerning for honesty that few other lesbian novels could match an elegant, dappled painting of the times and the people moving within them.Be advised that my poor rating was given out of anger Alas academics are a tough crowd to please when writing historical fiction, and for me this novel s little inaccuracies and some infuriatingly serious ones kept jolting me out of enjoyment If you re not in flagrante delicto with Clio, this probably won t impact you much, but for especially historians well You re in for a fun ride State s Rights , no mention of Lincoln s election, hardly any black people, fundamental tactical and doctrinal misunderstandings, inaccurate equipment supply, silence about home problems like the food riots , etc The book does try, but it reads like someone read a Southern Apologist wiki page and then jammed some key battles into the narrative and called it good Everything was just fractionally wrong they re called mini balls god fucking damnit, I just can t take mini balls any But honestly and truly, no matter how well written, this book is going to anger a lot of people for good and decent reasons Any Civil War novel with only a single black person and that one an Uncle Tom kind attached to her caring white family that sort of book deserves our complete condemnation Its silence is dishonest The closest this book gets is Grace Henry s uncle, who appears briefly and who is, we are told, an abolitionist This mention is pathetic, is done solely to explain the breech with the rest of the family, and goes nowhere More telling are the soldiers the author has talking about going to war for State s Rights Yeah, the State s right to regulate what, exactly Read the Declaration of Secession of Mississippi and then talk to me again.Pushing aside the huge, gaping, sucking moral chest wound that is this book s myth of the Gallant South pushing that aside don t push that aside this is a good book Things done especially well was its ability to capture suffering the reader is forced to consider what it means to be structurally powerless while white soldiers foraging from the land steal from characters who have nothing to give, families are radically disrupted through death and separation, widowed women have their property default away from them that s actually not historically quite correct, but in a local context might well have occurred Those moments where you are confronted with exclusively white human suffering are where the book is at its most sublime.Note how the plot isn t mentioned that s because there isn t plot in that there isn t a narrative story instead the book tracks across time in the truest sense , following characters as change marches ever onward This leaves it feeling sweeping, but fractured The war only lasts half the book, for instance and peace is declared abruptly the romantic interests only meet half way through the book It is of a character study than anything else.Virginia, truly, had an appalling time By the time the other character Henry walked onto her land, I was ready for her to catch a break Henry and Virginia actually have a beautiful chemistry, the kind shared between people who have been worsted by a hard life without being broken by it Henry s fall by that point in the novel has been spectacular from the graceful scion of a wealthy Charleston slave owning family to a wandering, male identifying fur trapper Their romance isn t really romantic so far as it is a wending they have come together and found strength than was available apart.I gave the book stars for its writing, I took stars away from the book for its history I should have taken stars away, because the myth of the Gallant South is intellectually and historically immoral But so long as you keep that firmly in your mind as you read this, it s a decent novel Three stars. Nothing expresses my feelings on this book better than Vic s review Some parts of the book dealing with the war and other acts of violence may be hard to read because of the graphic descriptions But it is this realism that elevates the book to a level above the usual women disguised as men lesfic stories Although the war years take up roughly half of the book and the women don t meet until after , it is still worth reading through as Henry and Virginia are both creatures of the war The second half of the book, which is just as long as a full lesfic novel, explores the improbable romance As Vic said, you need to slow down and savor the emotions generated by the author s words My only complaint is that it all ends too soon.