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Tuesday, September 07, 2004
The light that burns twice as bright... 
Firefly by Bernie Tan

I read this book in one sitting. No it wasn't exciting, thrilling or gripping. There were no tricks or sleight of hand with words, something I particularly enjoy. There was nothing. Except for the very raw and open psyche of a woman who had a childhood which she saw as oppresive, and educated in a school system which never allowed her talents to develop.

I found Firefly to be very heartfelt, sort of like a "You want to know what makes me me?" It was certainly interesting reading about her experience in an institution, and her struggle to be reassimilated into 'society' and to gain 'acceptance'. The author leaves nothing hidden about her trauma, her fights, her gradual degradation caused by substance abuse. Some readers might be a little uncomfortable with the dirty linen being aired out in public here, but considering what is currently being posted in some of the local blogs, it isn't much different really. Many of us come from dysfunctional families anyway. And the author's thoughts, experiences and feelings about her family and parents, notably her mother, are very telling indeed.

I would recommend this as a book to be read by every teenager, young adult, and parents having to live with or cope with either. It certainly would help a reader in understanding what goes in the minds of a young person, struggling to find themselves and their place in the world. It also shows that someone may look 'normal' from the outside, but be very complicated on the inside.

As a small footnote, I have met the author once, at a social gathering, before her accident. We made some small talk about the creative process, and the intricacies that go into the design of an advertising campaign, particularly for a product which the AD isn't particularly enthusiatic about. My impression of her was a person who spoke her mind, and didn't care what the listener thought about it. I guess I was slightly wrong, because after reading Firefly, I know that she does indeed care.
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Edit: Previously reviewed here.

xXx  # 11:49 AM
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