My Firefly by Maggie Kirton is a gritty narrative that explores one young woman’s journey through a series of abuse by her family, especially her father — physical, emotional, and sexual - told from the perspective of the house the protagonist lived in. The first sentences of the prologue are intriguing and they compel the reader to ask pertinent questions: “Fiction? Perhaps. I really can’t be all that sure. I’ve been rather numbed to reality over the years.” From the very first page of the narrative, the reader is introduced to the violence, the meanness of the father who takes every opportunity to abuse her in unimaginable ways. Readers will understand the effects of the abuse in the life of the child as she grows older. Can she ever overcome the pain? Can the emotional and psychological wounds heal? How about her self-image? How about her sexual health? These are questions that readers need to find answers to themselves.
This book isn’t an amateurish kind of work. It is clean, mellifluous and evocative in style. It’s one of the best indictments of child abuse perpetrators I have read in years, a story told in a brutally honest tone, unalloyed when it comes to capturing graphic images. Told by the house, it is a powerful reminder to readers who notice instances of child abuse and stay quiet. One can imagine the courage it took to write this book, but it is a gem of rare beauty, a work that speaks the truth about an evil to which many young boys and girls are subjected. My Firefly is an emotionally charged, compelling memoir of abuse that will bring tears to the eyes of readers while allowing them to connect with the solitude of the abused, their pain, and their deepest fears. Maggie Kirton writes about a sensitive issue with brilliance and rare honesty, and it is no wonder — given the mature language — that the book is addressed to mature readers, and especially those who are silent in the face of crimes committed against children. A book that explores the psychology of a monster in the name of a father.