Release Date: June.27.2011
Publisher: Ravensview Production
Age Group/Genre: Middle Grade/ Paranormal
Buy the Book: Amazon
During the sweltering summer of 1963, everything is moving fast for 14-year-old Aurora, who’s spending the days with her grandparents in the northwest Louisiana countryside. Her fast thoughts and actions can cause those around her to shake their heads in bafflement, especially when her spirits nosedive. But it’s no puzzle for the mystical Mr. Hematite and his tiny assistant, Mr. Dragonfly. Together, they guide her in understanding the onset of her bipolar moods and show her that as Light Fixtures, everyone has the potential to shine with balance and brilliance.
The setting of this particular story was the first thing that drew me in right away. As a born and bred girl from Louisiana, I was curious to read about this story, set in the Northwest portion of my home state. The second thing that drew me in was the setting of the story, the sixties. The third thing that drew me in was the main character’s disorder, bipolar. With high expectations, I started the story and did not put it down until I was done.
I loved Ms. Smith’s descriptions and vivid attention to detail. I was in the story with Aurora and could hear the crickets chirping at night, during the summertime, while she slept at home without central air-conditioning. I was with her and her family when the bookmobile came visiting and she had to check out books that were appropriate for her age. When she and her siblings got invited to visit at her grandparent’s home during Bible School week, I was visiting right along with them as they did chores and ate fresh vegetables from the garden and waited for the ice cream machine to stop cranking so they could eat the “cool goodness.”
I paid particular attention to the main character’s speech and actions as I read – they were fast, all the time. She thought about things constantly and talked so much that people would cut her off sometimes to get words in. She also has a lot of trouble sleeping, which is when she meets and befriends Mr. Dragonfly and later on, Mr. Hematite. Once Mr. Dragonfly guides her to Mr. Hematite, he helps Aurora understand why she shies away from bright lights, talks and thinks and acts so quickly, craves salt, etc. The most important thing he gives her though is confidence that she can shine once she finds balance in her life.
Throughout the story, Aurora is also very aware of her home life and how it looks to the other teenagers in her small community that they live so poorly and drive a car without the ability to reverse anymore. While references were made to her father always having “grand” ideas that never happened and her disorder having genetic links, the author left it up to the reader to decide for themselves if her father was also bipolar.
A wonderful novel with much meaning that was a joy to read.