Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review: Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publishing Date: February 5th, 2008
Genre: Women's Lit, Adult Fiction
Pages: 496 pgs
ISBN: 9780312364083
Source: Bought

Rating: 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:
From the New York Times bestselling author of On Mystic Lake comes a powerful novel of love, loss, and the magic of friendship. . . .
In the turbulent summer of 1974, Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the eighth-grade social food chain. Then, to her amazement, the “coolest girl in the world” moves in across the street and wants to be her friend. Tully Hart seems to have it all---beauty, brains, ambition. On the surface they are as opposite as two people can be: Kate, doomed to be forever uncool, with a loving family who mortifies her at every turn. Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, but with a secret that is destroying her. They make a pact to be best friends forever; by summer’s end they’ve become TullyandKate. Inseparable.
So begins Kristin Hannah’s magnificent new novel. Spanning more than three decades and playing out across the ever-changing face of the Pacific Northwest, Firefly Lane is the poignant, powerful story of two women and the friendship that becomes the bulkhead of their lives.
From the beginning, Tully is desperate to prove her worth to the world. Abandoned by her mother at an early age, she longs to be loved unconditionally. In the glittering, big-hair era of the eighties, she looks to men to fill the void in her soul. But in the buttoned-down nineties, it is television news that captivates her. She will follow her own blind ambition to New York and around the globe, finding fame and success . . . and loneliness. 
Kate knows early on that her life will be nothing special. Throughout college, she pretends to be driven by a need for success, but all she really wants is to fall in love and have children and live an ordinary life. In her own quiet way, Kate is as driven as Tully. What she doesn’t know is how being a wife and mother will change her . . . how she’ll lose sight of who she once was, and what she once wanted. And how much she’ll envy her famous best friend. . . .
For thirty years, Tully and Kate buoy each other through life, weathering the storms of friendship---jealousy, anger, hurt, resentment. They think they’ve survived it all until a single act of betrayal tears them apart . . . and puts their courage and friendship to the ultimate test.
Firefly Lane is for anyone who ever drank Boone’s Farm apple wine while listening to Abba or Fleetwood Mac. More than a coming-of-age novel, it’s the story of a generation of women who were both blessed and cursed by choices. It’s about promises and secrets and betrayals. And ultimately, about the one person who really, truly knows you---and knows what has the power to hurt you . . . and heal you. Firefly Lane is a story you’ll never forget . . . one you’ll want to pass on to your best friend.

My Review:
This book is about a life-long friendship between two women. This is my 2nd Kristin Hannah novel and I have to say that I liked this one far more than Winter Garden. For some reason, while I enjoyed Winter Garden, I couldn't really feel a strong connection to any of the characters. This was not the case with this novel. This novel begins when Kate and Tully are pre-teens and just meeting for the first time. When the book ends the girls are now women and their friendship has been through it's share of ups and downs.
This book really took me back to my childhood/teens when I had a close friendship with one girl in particular. We have since gone our separate ways but I can't help but draw parallels between the characters in this book to our friendship. Throughout the novel, Kate is the type of girl who takes a backseat in her life at times and Tully is this headstrong character who can be a bit of a hurricane in the lives of others. Many times I wanted to slap both of them silly. I wanted to tell Kate to speak up and tell Tully what she was thinking and I also wanted to tell Tully to stop meddling.
A word of warning for this book though: it is a heartbreaker. I was reading this book and ugly-crying. No word of a lie, my husband kept looking over at me on the couch trying to figure out what my problem was. So if you are about to read this book make sure to bring your tissues with you.
Hannah has a way with her writing to draw you in and immerse you in the story. She went back and forth between Kate's point of view and Tully's point of view so you get a better idea of what each character is thinking. I really like when authors use different points of view to tell their story. This is a fairly big book and I read it all within 24 hours. That being said, I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. Go out and read this book soon!

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