Lightning Bug

Written by Donald Harington
Review by Nan Curnutt

It’s July, 1939, when Every Dill returns to Stay More, Arkansas, to reclaim his true love, the town’s attractive postmistress, Latha Bourne. No one is as surprised at his return as Latha, because she rejected Every years earlier. As a result, Every raped her and robbed the bank before leaving Stay More. Now he’s back, claiming to be a preacher, and wanting to make an honest woman of Latha. Latha, however, has other ideas. She wants to have sex with him.

Five-year-old Dawny, the sometimes narrator of this story, is in love, or possibly lust, with Latha. He resents the return of a rival for her affection. In fact, most of the men in the town resent Every’s return. Many of those men are also rivals for Latha’s affection, and quite a few have experienced it.

Donald Harington, the five-year-old Dawny in the story, has crafted a sensual novel peopled with fascinatingly imperfect characters, reminiscent of Drake’s Creek, the Ozark hamlet where he spent his childhood summers. Lightning Bug is the first of several books he wrote about Stay More and its people.