Saturday, October 1, 2011
Light Fixtures by Deborah DeMoss Smith
During the sweltering summer of 1963, everything is moving fast for 14-year-old Aurora, who’s spending the days with her grandparents in the northwest Louisiana countryside. Her fast thoughts and actions can cause those around her to shake their heads in bafflement, especially when her spirits nosedive. But it’s no puzzle for the mystical Mr. Hematite and his tiny assistant, Mr. Dragonfly. Together, they guide her in understanding her bipolar moods and show her that as Light Fixtures, everyone has the potential to shine with balance and brilliance.
This book tackles a subject matter not often seen in young adult books: bipolar disorder. It was a fascinating read that showed a careful balance of truth and sensitivity as the author manages this difficult topic.
Aurora, the heroine, has the tell-tale mood changes that have made everyone around her confused. In 1963, which is the year in which the novel takes place, there was little if anything really known about bipolar disorder, so it is not surprising that Aurora had to deal with her illness, all the fear and fright it caused, on her own. The author brings in two other characters, both mysterious yet enchanting: Mr. Dragonfly, Aurora’s spirit guide, and Mr. Hematite, who lives behind her house. The characters are all well done. Aurora comes to life as the reader turns the pages, becoming a real, troubled yet hopeful girl.
This novel was full of heart and truly inspirational. I can recommend it to all YA readers as well as adults who know any suffers of this still misunderstood disease. A wonderful read.