Welcome back for another Friday Book Review! Being a resident of eastern North Carolina and a hopeless romantic, I’ve easily fallen in love with books by Joey Jones, an indie romance author from NC. Today, I’ll be reviewing Jones’s newest release, A Field of Fireflies, a tale of forbidden romance packed with loads of wisdom about acceptance.
A while back, my cousin’s wife introduced me to a new local author’s books that are similar in style to Nicholas Sparks. I read one of them, Losing London, and adored it. For Christmas, she gave me the author’s two other releases, A Bridge Apart and A Field of Fireflies.
A Field of Fireflies follows a 24-year-old former baseball prodigy, Nolan Lynch, as he begins a PE instructor job at a community college in the eastern North Carolina town of Washington. On his first day, he meets 24-year-old Emma Pate, a student who is going to school to better her career options. Nolan and Emma hit it off instantly and it seems too good to be true. Because, in reality, it is. Nolan doesn’t realize Emma is a student, and Emma doesn’t realize Nolan is her teacher until the next day of classes. But both know one thing: student/teacher relationships are forbidden. Will their romance survive all the curveballs that are thrown their way?
Focus on Race Issues in the United States
When I first realized this novel was going to discuss current racial division in the United States, I was nervous that it was going to be similar to what the media and politicians spew and pit races against one another. I’m elated to say that does not happen in A Field of Fireflies. In fact, the characters accurately blame the media for creating the divisiveness in the first place. Readers are left with a firm, endearing message that the media, churches, and US citizens should stop labeling people as black, white, etc. and just call people what we are… people. My review is truly not doing this section justice, but the author really hits the nail on the head on the subject.
Portrayal of New Adult Characters
Being in my mid-twenties, I feel the author portrayed Nolan and Emma perfectly as a New Adult couple. The couple was both nostalgic for their childhood, something both have just emerged from six years prior, and are openly admitting that they’re struggling with adulthood choices. Sometimes I feel as if this age range is not portrayed realistically in books, but the author really captured the mid-20s age range.
Going back to the previous section, Nolan and Emma’s relationship is true to that of the mid-20s age, mostly highlighting the easily triggered insecurity and jealousy when someone openly flirts with who we’re dating. The dates these two go on are adorable, and I loved the firefly field element. For more conservative readers, though the couple does get physical prior to marriage, the act is not shown in detail.
Small Details Woven Together
My favorite aspect about Jones’ writing is that he sprinkles seemingly meaningless details into the story and weaves them together to produce a pleasantly surprising plot that keeps readers invested throughout. My emotions ranged from gushing to nearly crying over the perfectly placed and moving details.
Thank you, Joey Jones, for writing clean romance based in eastern NC. It’s an honor to have you representing our state in literature!
Talk to Me, Arrowheads!
Have you read any of Joey Jones’s books? If you haven’t, you’re surely missing out!
Be sure to check back here on Monday for Week 7 of my Character Names by Letter Series, where I’ll be sharing names that start with “G”!
Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.