Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dominique Paul

Paul, Dominique. 2006. The Possibility of Fireflies.

2006 seems to be another banner year for troubled teens. I suppose it is the one ‘trend’ in young adult literature that never wavers throughout the decades. Often the ‘trouble’ is the teen rebelling in anger and resentment against parents who are not developed enough to be judged by the reader as worthy or unworthy of such treatment. We don’t know enough to judge if the anger is justified. That is not the case with THE POSSIBILITY OF FIREFLIES. The main character, Ellie Roma, and her sister Gwen are mistreated and abused by a despicable woman who is their mother. She yells. She screams. She hits. She locks her kids out of the house on a regular basis. She neglects them. She doesn’t worry about feeding them. She doesn’t care about them at all. She tells them day in and day out that they ruined her life and she hates them. So it doesn’t come as any surprise when Gwen begins hanging out with the wrong crowd and doing some typical rebelling: smoking, drinking, doing drugs. Ellie’s response may be calmer, but it is equally strong. Silent and angry, Ellie is counting the days until she can make her final escape. THE POSSIBILITY OF FIREFLIES presents two teens, one labeled 'good' and one labeled 'bad', struggling to survive the harshness of their home life. It is an emotionally raw and intense book. I believe the characters are memorable.

Sometimes I think it is okay that my mother doesn’t love me anymore, because she did. And I remember. I only wish I had known it would stop. I would have paid better attention, saved up everything in reserves like when they thought the bomb was coming. But I hadn’t known. I just hadn’t known (91).

Dominique Paul grew up in a Maryland suburb just outside of Washington, D.C., and received her BA in English from the University of Maryland, College Park. Currently she lives in Los Angeles, where she works as a screenwriter. The Possibility of Fireflies is her first novel.

Simon & Schuster: Dominque Paul

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