"Firefly Island" by Lisa Wingate is the third book in the "Moses Lake" series. Mallory Hale was working as a legislative assistant on Capitol Hill when a chance encounter allowed her to meet Daniel Everson, a biochemist working for the USDA. A whirlwind courtship culminates is a quick marriage and move to Moses Lake, Texas, where Daniel begins a unique job opportunity. Daniel is immediately immersed in his work, leaving Mallory to adjust to life as stepmom to three-year-old Nick and figure out a way to fit in rural Texas.
Questions are immediately raised about Daniel's new boss, who comes across as mysterious, demanding, and intimidating. As Daniel spends more and more time away from home, Mallory immerses herself in settling in. She starts a blog about her transition from city girl to cow girl. As she gets to know the people in her new town, she begins to see great needs there for things like education and making healthier foods available to all. The last few chapters of the book are dedicated to the unraveling of political intrigue.
Overall, the book was just okay. It was told in the first-person, which caused it to fall a little bit flat. The characters lacked depth. There were a number of interesting pieces to the storyline, but they felt a little disconnected from one another. It was a bit slow and unrealistic to start off, but the action picked up in the second half of the book. This was my first dive into a Lisa Wingate novel; I liked it enough to try another one, but I will "proceed with caution".
(I've received this complimentary book from Bethany House Publishers through the Book Blogger program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)
I really wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this book. I was not familiar with the author and unsure if I would be able to "get into the book". I was pleasantly surprised!
Lisa Wingate is a wonderful storyteller! I thoroughly enjoyed her voice and how she pulled me. The beginning of the book immediately brought out the curiosity in me, as I wondered, "where is this going?"
In the beginning, we're introduced to Mallory, a single gal in her 30's working on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant. She's focused on her career and really thought that family life was not in the cards for her. In steps, Daniel and all that changes. And she doesn't just fall in love with her "soul mate", Daniel is a package deal that comes with 3 year old, Nick. Despite her reservation and to her utter surprise, her bond with Nick happens more quickly than she would have imagined. And before she can blink an eye, she's married to Daniel, a mother to Nick, and off on an "adventure" as her new husband accepts a position in a remote part of Texas, Moses Lake.
Initially, Moses Lake seems like a slow, small town. But over time, Mallory comes to find that the people she meets are not what they appear to be. As Mallory becomes more involved with the people of Moses Lake, she finds that they are simply people much different from her city upbringing and upper middle class ways - but people nonetheless. And it is at this time, that Mallory changes.
As I began reading the book, there was no mention of faith or even a belief in God. In fact, the characters of Mallory and Daniel, were not church attenders and there was no any mention of a faith based upbringing. Lisa Wingate was able to seamlessly weave in the notion of God and His sovereignty through one of the supporting characters, Keren. Through Mallory's friendship with Keren, God's hand in our lives comes to life as Mallory wrestles with the idea of God using us right where we are.
This is where I was pleasantly surprised. Normally, I prefer that the books I read, have more faith-based characters, but I have to admit that I appreciated the way Mallory's life was written in a very honest way and how her relationship with God is evolving and growing, slowly. The storyline was compelling enough to make the reader wonder where it was going and it was all woven together so well, that I needed to finish the book. It was pleasant surprise to see the story come full circle and not in the way I had imagined.
When reading Firefly Island I felt like the main character Mallory could have easily been me. A career driven woman with a family that loves her and a dream job that she is willing to leave all behind for a man she loves. I like the mystery behind the small town, Moses Lake, her laughable "honeymoon" destination that is her new home. She quickly finds out that small town like is no much different than the politics of Washington, D.C. where she came from. Mallory has to learn to TRUST, which is hard for her but in the end is part of the beautiful reward she receives.
I asked my friend Hannah to finish reading this book for me and write the review. I was only a third of the way thru the book (and enjoying it very much) when circumstances intervened that did not allow me to finish it in a timely manner. What I was able to read I found delightful and appreciated Lisa Wingate's style in bringing Mallory to life. No matter what your age and where you are in your life we all have doubts when starting a relationship and trust in God is what brings us thru. I recommend the book and hope you will make it a point to read it. I received a free copy from Bethany House for review.
"Firefly Island" by Lisa Wingate is book #3 in the Moses Lake series. These books do not need to be read in order to be understood and enjoyed. I have read #2, but not #1. Moses Lake is a very dramatically charged lake. I have reviewed "Blue Moon Bay" and this is another politically dynamic novel. The story centers on the same area and some of the characters intermix, but are not main characters or even side characters; they are mentioned. Mallory is a working in DC when she meets Daniel on St Patrick's Day. It is love at first sight. Daniel, a single father, soon after the meeting, gets a job in Texas. In a whirlwind romance and engagement, they are married and living in Texas with their son, Nick, two months later. Mallory has a lot to learn about being on her own and living in the country. The more she learns, the more she realizes that something is going on on Moses Lake. She's just the woman to find out what.
This is a sort of Nancy Drew mystery for adults. It's got romance, (step)parenting, farm life, small town affairs, you name it. I really enjoyed this book. This make two A books for Wingate and I will now be adding her to my list of must-read authors. A-. I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers.
I can honestly say that I've never read a book quite like this one. When I read the description I figured this was just another romance novel, perhaps a unique take on it, but still a romance.
Young lobbyist accidentally meets a young environmental researcher and they fall in love. Causing her to leave the rigors of politics behind, following him and his six year old son to a once in a lifetime opportunity to do research. But very quickly, the romance becomes nearly secondary to the story. While the book mostly focuses on political intrigue there is definitely a flavor of thriller to it as well.
Mallory Hale is a classic high powered career woman but with uncharacteristic domestic yearnings. Daniel Everson is every inch the quiet, brooding but tender scientist. Top it off with Daniel's young son Nick who is adorable though perhaps not entirely realistic, you can't help but love this trio. Mallory's attempts to become a wife and mother practically overnight in a small rural town where she knows no one is compelling and accessible. The minor characters of the locals fill out the cast and make me want to leave it all behind too and start over in Moses Lake.
Would I recommend it? Yes, it's definitely an unusual piece of fiction that is worth a read.
I was not compensated for this review but I did receive a free copy of the book to review.