by Lauren Eckhardt
Published on: March 1, 2019
“It all started with the lightning bug. Evaline watched it floating in the air, flirting with the wind like its life was the best thing in the world.”
Enligtened: Evaline’s Journey is a book written beautifully – producing images that dance around in your head long after reading.
While the story for Evaline starts with a lightning bug, for the reader it begins with Evaline in a car crash. When she opens her eyes again, she doesn’t remember anything of her past except for impressions left upon her – impressions of ‘pain and heartache.’ We never learn specifically what her past is, but the author provides gentle impressions that perhaps her home was not happy and that she may have been mistreated. However, she meets the Sun who asks her what ‘home’ would be to her. To her a home would be ‘a place with people who care about me and won’t hurt me.’ The Sun tells her he will help her on her journey and to keep an open mind.
From there she goes to land, sky, and sea. She meets various types of people? creatures? I’m not sure how to classify them all as. But, along her journey she meets those who would warmly embrace her as well as those who make her feel unwanted, unloved. However, the story is one of hope. Hope that even as an adult reading this can feel. The hope that just because your past is one thing that it does not mean you cannot rise above it and be someone better. The hope that just because you are shown meanness and spitefulness and jealousy and anger does not mean you have to be that too. You can choose to be kind and gentle and merciful and thankful.
Back in your high school English classes you learned about symbolism, allegories, metaphors, etc. It does not take too long to discover this book will remind you of everything you learned back then.
It’s a beautiful story with a positive message and although the target age is for children, I can see adults wanting to read it for the lessons the book can shine a light on.
I also really love the cover. The evening backdrop with a girl and fireflies is gorgeous.
Thank you to GoodReads and to the author, Lauren Eckhardt, for the book. I won this in a GoodReads Giveaway and this is my honest opinion.