Kristin Fields, the author of “A Frenzy of Sparks” has written a captivating, memorable, and thought-provoking novel. The genres for this story are coming of age, fiction, and family drama. The timeline for this story takes place around 1965 and goes to the past when it pertains to the characters or events. The setting for this story is in Queens, near the bay and swamps. There are new homes being built, and it now appears that there will be change. The author describes her dramatic characters as complex, complicated, dysfunctional and adjusting to the environmental and psychological changes.The main themes throughout the story are the importance of family, the devastation of drugs, environmental and psychological change, and coming of age.
Gia and her brother Leo grow up with their cousins and family in a neighborhood in Queens, that will be changing. Gia is 13 years old, and has a concern about chemicals that can destroy and harm wildlife near the marshes. She is also obsessed with being in her father’s boat, and observing nature. Her brother Leo is a follower, and acts like a clown, trying to get attention and laughs.
When a cousin gets involved using and selling drugs, the naive and innocent boys make poor choices. Suddenly there is chaos, where there were uneventful activities, and tragedy that will change the family’s lives forever.
I appreciate that the author discusses the devastation of using drugs, and the importance of family, love and hope. I would recommend this compelling story.