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Lightning Bug
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Group Reads: Post-1980 > Lightning Bug, by Donald Harington: January 2013

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message 1: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3875 comments Mod
Yesterday, New Year's Eve, I had the day off and was trying to ward off a cold. (unsucessfully, as it seems to have gotten me). I decided to spend the whole day reading and picked up "Lightning Bug". What a delight! At first I was unsure what I had tackled, but each chapter is like opening another layer of a wonderful surprise. I finished the book by bedtime, and value the time spent with Latha Bourne, Every Dill, and the other denizens of Stay More, Arkansas. This one should be a great discussion thread.


Meran | 126 comments I'm on pg 17 and am already in love with this book!


Meran | 126 comments Wow. I just finished. Now I need a day to absorb it all. It was very good. I was unprepared for the bodice-ripper parts though ;)


message 4: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3875 comments Mod
I wasn't ready for that either, but it seemed to me that the most graphic ones were the scenes in her imagination. Latha was most definitely a free spirit!


Justin Haynes (JustinHaynes) | 7 comments This is such a wonderful read. So taboo in parts but it works. Harrington truly had a unique voice, a keen ear, and a talent for story telling.

I do find it odd how easy the rekindling of the relationship is between Latha and Every...thoughts?


Meran | 126 comments I didn't find it odd at all. After all, they'd never had an 'ending'... it just dropped off her radar. And his, obviously. I was a bit surprised he hadn't turned up earlier, maybe. But I think he'd looked all over for her, then decided to hit her hometown after all. He also wanted to be ready 'in spirit' for her. He was prepared to marry her immediately (which he should have thought through. No woman wants to be approached with a decision that she should be party to ;) )

Here's my review:

I know now that I want to read a LOT of this author's works.

His foil of young 'Dawny' to portray his protagonist's life story is stellar. I'm not sure how the ending really ended, but am happy that I get to revisit this book in my thoughts over the next year (or two)... playing out the meanings.

I wasn't prepared for the bodice-ripper nature, but must admit that I've never read a book so full of well-written sex scenes, almost cerebral descriptions of intimate events. I was also surprised to find how well they fit into the story. (I usually feel sex scenes have been inserted for reader titillation only, a 'requisite sex play' part just because. They rarely enhance the storyline. These fit. And yes, did titillate. :D)

The story though, was really about Dawny's Bug, of her betrayal by family members, and others, and yet, how the hometown she lived in needed her, revolved around her.

Well written, superbly so.

And I love and miss Lightning Bugs. (They aren't on the west side of the Rockies...)


Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 94 comments I've put this book on my list to read.


message 8: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3875 comments Mod
Loved your review, Meran, and Scout, you need to put this one at the top of your list. It's such a fun read. I also thought using Dawny as the teller of the tale was a stroke of genius. A child's eye view of the action, told from his adult perspective.


Meran | 126 comments So, Diane, do you think (as I hope) that the part where Dawny went wandering ended well?

The whole "will have been doing" makes it hard to KNOW the ending. (Is that future perfect or pluperfect tense? I forget. It's been along time. AND it's a tense that's not used much)

(I wanted to say all that without spoilering ;) )

and thanks for liking my review! I try to review without revealing plot points and yet still interest someone else into reading a good book.


message 10: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3875 comments Mod
I thought Dawny's wandering was the catalyst for Every deciding to return. It gave him an excuse not to walk down that road. It also showed how the community could pull together when needed. The end of this book is partly in Dawny's mind, partly in the reader's. And I know what you mean about the reviews. It's hard to be general and still tell enough to get others excited about the book. Did you like Latha's conversation with Jesus? That was one of the highlights of the novel for me.


Meran | 126 comments Yes, I thought the conversation was very funny! There was a lot of funny goings on.

And though it might have been a 'hillbilly' community, this Northerner (who lived in Georgia for 9 yrs) found the people to be as all others are.. curious in others' doings, busybodies, helpful when needed, a little unsmart (which is NOT dumb or idiotic) but still crafty as foxes.. I enjoyed the revenuer tale in the story too ;)

There was a lot to like.


message 12: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue | 654 comments I'm not reading all the posts closely as I'm only 1/4 through the book, but I'm increasingly enjoying it. Frequent smiles, open mouth gapes at some events and wondering about the future of all.


Meran | 126 comments Yeah, I laughed out loud at some of the passages. It's nice to laugh so much, from a book ;)


message 14: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue | 654 comments I agree Meran. It's not often lately I've read books with really good humor (outside of some Nick Hornby). This also has some of that underlying passion/pathos too for an edge, but not sharge enough to interfere.

I'm also enjoying the high spirits in The Reivers, though Faulkner sometimes makes you wade through the structure for the gems.


message 15: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
I'm loving the comments on the discussion. I DID fall in love with Harington's storytelling skills with this book. I've only gotten to The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks since my read of Lightning Bug. I highly recommend it. It's an overview of the complete history of Stay More. For those interested, here's my review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... .


Meran | 126 comments Oh, I'll be reading many more of his books ;)


message 17: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue | 654 comments Meran wrote: "Oh, I'll be reading many more of his books ;)"

Me too. I really enjoyed Lightning Bug and it's combination of humor, lust/sex, nostalgia, community vs outsider. Harington is quite a writer. And the way he uses the speculative tenses, so crafty, and lends a whole new layer to the story. Magical. Loved reviewing til GR ate my review. Then I rewrote it as well as I could.

Well, I have 3 more of Harington's novels on my kindle so it's only a matter of time before I get to them.


message 18: by Jessie J (new) - added it

Jessie J (subseti) | 296 comments Remaining behind in my group reads. Started Lightning Bug this weekend and really like it! Hope I get to finish this one....


message 19: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue | 654 comments Enjoy Jessie. I'm still hoping to read Shadow Country but I figure it will take quite a while to finish.


message 20: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane Barnes | 3875 comments Mod
I'm sure you'll become a Staymore fan Jessie. It's a great book for a bleak January. And Shadow Country is a wonderful feat by the author, but is definitely a time committment.


message 21: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue | 654 comments I have the book out Diane and I think I'll just plan on a slow read. I can always check back in on the discussion.


message 22: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue | 654 comments today Amazon has 3 of Harington's books on sale for $1.99, The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks, The Choiring of the Trees, and Wish.


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