Firefly Cove (Miramar Bay)
Firefly Cove reaches inside our hearts and allows us to confront our deepest fears concerning love, death, and solitude. Davis Bunn has created endearing characters that remind us of our own vulnerability and frailty in the face of the unknown.
Set in California in 1969 and in our present time, Firefly Cove follows in the footsteps of Miramar Bay. Since the age of six, Lucius Quarterfield has been fighting pleurisy. His father died of the disease, and it is now Lucius’ turn.
His doctor, Nico Barbieri, is a brusque man. “Your heart reminds me of a garbage disposal working on a spoon,” he says to Lucius one day. Death hovers close. “You’ve made the best you could of a thin life. Now go out and enjoy yourself.”
All Lucius knows, however, is work. Every waking hour is spent making money. Miramar Bay happens to be the only place where Lucius can unplug and remember the great love he once shared with the emerald-eyed spunky Jessica Waverly.
As he nostalgically wanders on the familiar beach, Lucius has an episode and blacks out.
The novel takes us to the present day where Asha Meisel, an attractive sophisticated graduate student, is completing her Masters degree in marriage, family, and crisis therapy. One of her patients, Luke Benoit, has attempted suicide for the third time.
What is remarkable is that Luke died and returned to life. Not only that, he returns to life with a very different personality.
Dr. Barbieri, chief therapist and professor at Cal Poly, also notices the drastic changes. Asha and him stay glued to their textbook definition of a DID patient, someone suffering from a dissociative identity disorder.
Asha firmly believes they can save Luke from a meltdown. “A high level of trust must be built between patient and clinician. Only then is a patient willing to reveal whatever internal crisis fuels his delusion.”
The more the story advances, the less confident Asha is concerning their approach in helping Luke Benoit make sense of his past and his mental state. Is the farfetched story Luke telling perhaps true, and are the clinicians the ones in need of new lenses?
One person believes Luke’s outrageous story, Sonya Meisel, Asha’s regal grandmother. Sonya is a woman of compassion, wisdom, and great intelligence. “Be gentle with yourself. Forgiveness begins in the mirror. Do one thing simply to take pleasure from each day. Make a list of what brings you joy,” she advises Luke.
Sonya’s counseling goes beyond medication and scientific definitions. Luke finally has an ally and begins putting a plan in action to accomplish the most important mission of his life: reconnecting with the woman of his dreams.
Firefly Cove breaks apart our convictions regarding modern psychiatry and psychology. Bunn makes us squirm in our seats as he begs us to ask the deeper question, What ails the spirit and the heart of a mental patient?
By the end of the novel, the unknown forces around Asha and Dr. Barbieri have dealt them a solid blow. The evidence can no longer be denied: Luke Benoit died and came back a new person.
“When you told me of your findings, all I could see was how this threatened everything I had built up. I was terrified. I acted out of fear,” Dr. Barbieri tells Asha in an emotional scene. Perhaps their profession no longer has meaning.
An international bestselling author, Davis Bunn makes us deeply question our beliefs concerning near-death experiences, reincarnation, psychiatry, psychology, spirituality, and soul mates.
Firefly Cove moves in a rapid exhilarating pace that delivers unique messages and believable characters. If death is not our worst enemy, is it possible that solitude is? What is more frightening, to die or to die alone?
This romantic inspirational novel inspires us to stop trying to understand life from the ego’s perspective and learn to depend on our intuitions for the truth.