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Fireflies: Finding Light in a Dark World

4.59  ·  Rating details ·  34 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Powerful, engrossing, and beautifully written spiritual memoir. Fireflies recounts the writer’s quest to find light to ease the darkness and suffering she encounters in the world as her beloved older brother is enveloped by mental illness. Her journey for answers takes her from small-town British Columbia to Zimbabwe and exposes her to spiritual and religious settings from ...more
Paperback, 271 pages
Published July 1st 2015 by Morehouse Publishing
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Amelia Gordon
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a story they cannot put down. I was engrossed in the writer's journey from the moment I picked it up. Heart-wrenching but beautiful. This is a book you cannot forget. It has stayed with me long after reading it. A must read!! ...more
Erin Bradley
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Spiritually heart-provoking, this personal memoir captures the author's journey as she seeks answers with how to cope with her brother's harrowing personal struggles. Initially set in Northern British Columbia, she recounts her childhood and youth and the experiences that would shape her quest to find the appropriate supports (she so craves) in order to help her brother and grasp what's going on for him. She takes her reader all around the world, and the writing is so descriptive and beautiful, ...more
Sheri McInnis
Jun 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure here, Heather Gordon-Young – the author of Fireflies: Finding Light in a Dark World – is a distant cousin of mine. We've never even met, but I'm a writer too and another family member put us in touch because her first book was coming out.

The reason I bring it up is because the suicide of Gordon-Young's brother – which makes up part, though not all, of this book – rocked through our family over twenty years ago.

Maybe 'rock' isn't the right word. Because people didn't really want
Rebecca Burke
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book had me right from the beginning! After reading the first paragraph I began to wonder "what was the dark and why did the dark want the authors brother?" The author takes you on a journey from childhood to adulthood with all the joys, pains, losses, gains, learnings and questionings that go along with it. A spiritual journey that focuses on the light and the darkness that is a part of this world. After reading the book I could see the intricate plan of God so delicately and sometimes not ...more
Ann Kurtz
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully written story about a woman's personal journey to help and support her brother, an artist who is trying to find his place in the world free from emotional pain. The author brings forth many questions about the role of religion, culture, and spirituality in our lives as well as the meaning of family and acceptance of ourselves and others. The narrative flows smoothly and pulls you into the author's journey leaving you to decide on your own answers to the questions she raises ...more
James Bradley
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A poignant and compelling story dealing with the heartbreak of mental illness and the sometimes inadequate support of the church in helping with these situations. This search for answers to the darkness of mental health is superbly written and describes a journey which few could imagine. I couldn't put the book down...a great read. ...more
Cynthia Barnes
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. A friend commented that Heather Gordon is a poet,and she is right. There are no wasted words. Gordon includes so many captivating details. I have talked about the book with my friends as it is a compelling and courageous story.

I am proud to be Heather's friend
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I found this memoir very moving (the author is frank about her inability to "save' her brother) and also challenging in the way it forces you to consider what our response as Christians should be to those who are struggling with addictions, mental health issues and (query) demon-possession. The part describing her work in Africa, and how she came back with an answer to a completely different question from the one she set out to find, was very interesting. I think the book mostly made me realize ...more
Kim Barton-Bridges
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fireflies: Finding Light in a Dark World by Heather Gordon-Young was a beautifully written, provocative read. Heather shares her struggle to make sense of her brother's battle with mental illness, a disease so often misunderstood. When she turned to the church for answers she was often left with more questions, which not only resonated with me and my own struggles with my faith, but also helped me to understand that it is a sign of strength, rather than weakness, to question. I was grateful that ...more
Nancy Greene
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oh my gosh, what a wonderful read! I first picked up this book yesterday when I stepped off the ski fields and was unable to put it down. And today as soon as I got out of parliament I found myself completely engrossed by it and had to read it all in one sitting :) congratulations on penning such a fabulous and inspiring read! First place to you! (which also happens to be where I finished at the 1968 Winter Olympics)
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A compelling story bravely written in a beautiful voice. Heather Gordon-Young shines a powerful light into a dark piece of her personal history with raw and intimate honesty. Tenaciously seeking answers, understanding and help for her deeply wounded older brother, she shares her journey with her readers with tenderness, hope and strength. This is a valuable book for those brave enough to read it.
James Gordon
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fireflies is an intense, raw, heart felt family story that once started cannot be put down. The story is a taught description of how the most tender and creative in the world are also the most exposed to the harshness of the world. The book is accessibly literary with vivid images that give the story life and make the read captivating. It is a book that brings ideas and thoughts to life but does not provide pat answers. I highly recommend reading Fireflies.

Pat Venn
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written, image ridden tribute to a troubled yet well loved brother. It is a heart wrenching and yet uplifting window into the pain and recovery of a family's journey through mental illness. Heather has a way of inviting us into her life as a child and young woman- an ordinary life filled with extraordinary insight. "Fireflies" is full of childhood vignettes that remind us of how we develop into the adults we are. This is a truly engaging story. ...more
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Childsy by: Ammy Gordon
WOW this book is so good. Cant wait to order it off amazon. I feels this book has gained a lot of publicity on the south coast & am eagerly awaiting my shipment. Gosh so excited to read this page turner!!!!!! Well done heather. 5 cheers for you! Hip hip hooray!!!!!!
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity
Beautifully Written piece about things the church struggles with - mental health, addiction, and abuse
Jun 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
I'm very upset that my previous review was removed because I would like people to know that this book is WORFUL AND NOT ACTUALLY ABOUT FIRELFIES. ...more
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Heather Gordon-Young
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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Heather Gordon-Young is a Canadian writer and speaker living on the west coast of British Columbia in the coastal community of Powell River. She completed her MFA in Creative Non-Fiction at Antioch University, Los Angeles. Fireflies: Finding Light in a Dark World is her first book. Heather is the Executive Director of a not-for-profit social services organization that serves children, youth and fa ...more

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