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Firefly Cloak

3.44  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,076 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
Eight-year-old Tessa Lee and her little brother, Travis, are left behind at a campground by their mother and her boyfriend, a crooked-nosed man named Goose, with little more than the firefly cloak they’d used for covers the night before. So begins a journey that will take Tessa Lee in search of the mother she longs for. Her quest is steeped in Southern atmosphere and chara ...more
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Published April 6th 2006 by HighBridge Company
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(showing 1-30 of 1,740)
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Feb 14, 2016 Ashley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I spent a significant portion of this book trying to figure out how old Tessa Lee was (16), where exactly the book was set (North Carolina) and when the story was taking place. Tessa Lee was so innocent and naive for her age I honestly thought this story was taking place in at least the 1960s or 1970s until the mention of a cell phone popped up. This book just didn't do it for me, and I really couldn't wait for it to be over.
This is the second or third Sheri Reynolds book I've written and I still love her spare and beautiful ways of describing things. She can take even the most unredeemable minor character and make you wildly interested in them for a page or two.

That said, this was darker than her other books - full of sexual references and drug-use. The mother was so screwed up I (frankly) kept waiting for her to die (which does not bode well for her likability or her place in the plot) and the daughter was so conf
Jan 06, 2009 Tara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a gem. More for book clubs or a fun english class. The premise is what pulls you. Mom abandons her 2 children at a campground to run off with some random guy. People find the little boy walking around in a diaper with a phone number in permanent marker on his back. The story unfolds very smoothly bit by bit and follows the path of the elder child Tessa Lee, Lil the grandmother the who took them in and Sheila the mother who left them. A story of growth and redemption. No surprising twist ...more
Jan 20, 2008 Chanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book - Couldn't put it down. Quick, easy read. Sad, the crazy lives some people live. For some reason, I kept picturing the main character as a young girl, 8 or 10 years old, even though she's 16. I just couldn't get the image out of my head. Also kept picturing the story as taking place 50 or 60 years ago, even though it is supposed to be current day. I got over that by the end, but just had this concrete picture in my mind. I think I was picturing a similar scene to The Secret Life of Bee ...more
Jul 31, 2007 Sirena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read_in_2007
This book made me long for community. Some of the characters live in a trailer-park like place called a "Mobile City", which seems to have everything - ponds, a rec center, woods, etc. It sounded so awesome to me that I wanted to live there.

I'm no reviewer. I liked this. It's written in a kind of style that is really spare, but evocative. There are a lot of metaphors for how people are acting or thinking which seem bizarre but are PERFECT describers.
Oct 23, 2007 Annie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sheri Reynolds is by far one of my favorite authors, her ability to seemlessly weave past and present and a seemingly small story into a novel that calls to you when it is put down is her trademark. This one in particular is the story of a little girl who seeks out the mother who left her behind. Painful and beautiful with gorgeous vivid language... all my favorite things. Great story!
Sep 22, 2012 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Really enjoyed this one. Wonderful story of loss, acceptance and forgiveness. The main character is Tessa Lee a young girl who is abandoned by her alcoholic mother and boyfriend at a campground along with her baby brother. It was definitely a worthwhile read.
On TBR since 2010.
Read for Bookopoly game.

I liked this story, a coming-of-age tale of love and redemption. Tessa Lee and her brother were abandoned by their mother when they were little and have been raised by their grandmother. Years later, Tessa locates her mom and sets out to contact her. The writing is very moving and the imagery is so evocative of the South.

Quotes to remember:

Now that she had legs, what she needed was wings.

...sandspur arrangements are like the antithesis of roses...A way
Jan 29, 2008 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the way this story is written. Sections of it read like poetry. The story is about a young girl finding her mother after being abandoned many years earlier. Her mother is a drug addict who only begins to change her life after her encounter with her daughter. While I really enjoyed the book, I didn't connect with any of the characters, and that prevented me from fully immersing myself in the book, like I usually find myself doing.
Lou Cordero
Story of loss, reconciliation, mother/daughter relationships.

Mother abandons her 2 kids leaving them nothing but a phone number and a cloak. Children are raised by their grandmother. After a family tragedy, the daughter goes in search of her mother ...

A good read for anyone, specially a mother with a daughter.
Sep 03, 2008 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little girl and her brother are left at a campsite, with nothing but a phone number written in magic marker on his back, and the firefly cloak they were covered with. The story follows the kids through their young lives while they attempt to recover, and eventually find their deserting family.
John Carenen
Jul 26, 2012 John Carenen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sheri Reynolds strikes again, this time with the story of an abandoned girl and her little brother, and her quest to find her mother. An array of intriguing characters and a strong story line make this an excellent read, with redemption after all the protagonist's problems.
Jul 24, 2008 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great coming of age novel. Reynolds has a knack for creating stories that are unique in their family life and characters but making them seem completely plausible.
Dec 05, 2007 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Ms. Reynolds is a master storyteller and brings to life an orphaned girl searching for love and herself. Powerful and brilliantly written.
Jan 24, 2015 jimtown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Firefly Cloak by Sherri Reynolds is a delicately written book about the depth of love, the mistakes people make and the strong bonds of family. Tessa Lee and Travis are left in a campground in a tent when their mother drives off in the night with her latest boyfriend. The mosquito bitten children are collected in the morning by their grandparents who have recently retired to Hully Sanders Mobile City. They make room for eight year old Tessa Lee and little Travis and give up on their wayward only ...more
Aug 11, 2009 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sheri Reynolds totally blew me away several years ago when I read her fantastic book, and Oprah pick, The Rapture of Canaan. Anyone who has not read this book, MUST give it a try. So since I had another book on my shelf by this author for a few years, I thought it was time to try Firefly Cloak.

In Firefly Cloak, Tessa Lee is just eight years old when she and her four year old brother Travis are abandoned by their mother Sheila. Sheila leaves the children at a campground, when she decides to skip
Jun 11, 2013 Sharon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much like crows and shiny objects, I have to admit I was drawn to this book by the gorgeous cover (but then I remembered reading one of Sheri Reynolds' other books, A Gracious Plenty, many years ago and absolutely loving it ... so not totally shallow). Even though I finished Firefly Cloak over a week ago, I still can't quite make up my mind how I feel about it - "enjoyed" isn't the right word, but I am glad I read it.
Reynolds is a powerful storyteller and her writing style is simple but beautifu
Jan 02, 2008 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: recentlyread
I ended up enjoying this a lot more than I thought I would. Sheila abandons her 2 children in a campground with nothing but a trashbag full of clothes and her mother's phone number, written in black magic marker on her son's back.

Seven years later, Tessa Lee finds out that her mother has been living just 2 hours away. Her visit to her mother shakes up everybody's life.

Sheila's mother is set up as the saintly, long-suffering grandmother, who devotes herself to the children her daughter has dumped
Can't say anything about this book that hasn't already been said. Just kept wishing it would end. Sometimes her language caught me off guard and seemed out of place - now I cuss like a drunken sailor, but some of the descriptions in Sheila's head were downright yucky.

It made me feel a little bit crazy while I was listening to it, like no one in the world (certainly no one in the book) was even the least bit sane, and they were taking me with them. It might also have been the narrator's voice -
Apr 10, 2009 Louise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I have never been disappointed in a Sheri Reynold's novel yet. This, her 4th, is a wonderful story of lost love, family and redemption.

"When eight-year-old Tessa Lee and her brother, Travis, are abandoned in a campground by their desperate mother and her boyfriend of the moment, they are left with only two things: a phone number written in Magic Marker on Travis's back and their mother's favourite housecoat, which she leaves wrapped around her sleeping children. This housecoat, painted with tiny
Ms. B
Jun 22, 2014 Ms. B rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, broads, fiction, 2014
The story of three generations of women and how one of them finds her way back home. Back to her mother and to the daughter she abandoned. Told from the points of the view of the three women; Tessa Lee the granddaughter, Sheila the mother, and Lil the grandmother. This is a story about living with regrets and forgiveness.
Nov 30, 2015 Bonnie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't a big fan of this one. Little to sad and nothing happy about it! The reflection of life is gripping at times and nothing to lead into life's story of the main character. Just wasn't a fan. What kept my interest to finish was to see where it was leading, but wasn't thrilled with the ending either. Don't want to say anything more due to someone reading that might be in the middle of the book.
This is was a challenging book for me in that it was very raw. It is the story of a grandmother (Lil), her daughter (Sheila), and her daughter's daughter (Tessa Lee). The grandmother has been very stiff and rule bound in the past. The daughter rebelled and ended up participating in dysfunctional activities such as stripping and engaging in prostitution while abusing drugs. Finally, the daughter is trying to sort out her relationship with both of them, particularly because her and her brother wer ...more
Deloris Baker
May 01, 2014 Deloris Baker rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Rapture of Canaan is one of the best and most heartbreaking books I've ever read. My expectations were high when I started to read Firefly Cloak but it just didn't draw me in. Disappointed, I skimmed through to the end due to my love of the author's previous books.
Apr 16, 2009 Becky rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: girly-novel
I'd rather give this 2.5 stars - I am between thinking it was just okay and thinking I kinda liked it. I think I would have liked it more, but was a little disappointed after all the hype. I had heard from a few places that this was great - I even heard a clip of the first chapter and liked it - but I had a little trouble following the story (switches between character perspectives and points on the time line made that a little difficult). I guess it ended up seeming like the story did not reall ...more
KC Lynn
I'm not sure how to rate this book. I really liked the book. Similar topic to the last book I read, Backseat Saints. I would recommend this book over Backseat Saints.

I think this would be a great book club book. There is a lot of symbolism and a lot of topics to discuss.

I really liked the relationship between the grandmother Lil and granddaughter Tessa Lee. I think the love they have for one another saves them from giving up. Together they are left to survive great tragedies but together they le
Feb 01, 2013 Hnolan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When eight-year-old Tessa Lee and her brother, Travis, are abandoned in a campground by their desperate mother and her boyfriend of the moment, they are left with only two things: a phone number written in Magic Marker on Travis’s back and their mother’s favorite housecoat, which she leaves wrapped around her sleeping children. This housecoat, painted with tiny fireflies, becomes totemic for Tessa Lee, providing a connection to her past and to the beautiful mother she lost.
Seven years later, wh
Sandra Alonzo
Feb 04, 2012 Sandra Alonzo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sheri Reynolds is a gifted writer. Her characters are very well-developed and the imagery is well-defined and inspiring. The dialogue is amazing. I loved the Firefly Cloak and its many symbolic references. What I didn't like is that the ending didn't sit well with me, and a few characters were pretty unlikeable. A few other characters appeared then suddenly disappeared, never to be heard from again, and that bothered me. I also wanted more resolution for the main charcter, Tessa Lee. My overall ...more
Aug 05, 2009 Marvin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book, by the author of one of my all-time favorites, The Rapture of Canaan, once again has an adolescent (16-year-old) girl at the center of the story. At the beginning of the book she, as a nine-year-old, and her younger brother are abandoned by her mother, who's addicted to drugs, alcohol & sex. The girl & her brother are raised in a trailer court by their retired grandparents, who are loving & devout but overly protective. There are brilliant passages of the sort that permeat ...more
It was okay. A couple of the characters (Rash, and the Grandmother) were pretty compelling but large swaths of the storyline felt pointless. A lot of plot threads were dropped, symbols (aside from the titular Fireflies) were introduced and lost. The ending was a long time coming. It was a fast read, the place adn the situations felt real, but there was no passion behind the writing. It seemed like the author was just going through the motions. It was very disappointing, after Rapture of Canaan. ...more
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Sheri Reynolds is an author of contemporary Southern fiction.

Sheri Reynolds was born and raised in rural South Carolina. She graduated from Conway High School in 1985, Davidson College in 1989, and Virginia Commonwealth University in 1992.

Her published novels include Bitterroot Landing, The Rapture of Canaan (an Oprah book club selection and New York Times bestseller), A Gracious Plenty (98), Fire
More about Sheri Reynolds...

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