Fireflies in December
By Jennifer Erin Valent
Tyndale House Publishers
Would you stand up for what is right even if it meant the safety of your own family? That is what Sadie and Harley Lassiter did in 1932 when they adopted an African American girl who lost her parents. Jessilyn and Gemma were best friends growing up, now they are sisters. Jessilyn’s father had vowed to Gemma’s parents to look after her if anything ever happened to them. Harley cared for Gemma as one of his own despite the prejudice that prevailed in their little Virginia town.
Ku Klux Klan members unite to make life difficult for the Lassiter family. Sadie Lassiter lost all her friends, Harley’s business suffered and to make matters worse one member of the Ku Klux Klan has made it his personal mission to harm Jessilyn. Through this one summer, Jessilyn leaves her childhood behind only to find hatred and violence. Even in the midst of darkness God displays kindness in unexpected ways.
Fireflies in December is the 2007 winner of the Christian Writers Guild’s Operation First Novel contest. This book challenges readers to look at their own prejudices whether it is black, white, rich, poor, male or female. I found this book difficult to put down and it stayed in my heart well after reading the last page. I look forward to more from Jennifer Erin Valent.