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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Firefly Lane (Firefly Lane #1) by Kristin Hannah

Firefly Lane (Firefly Lane, #1)

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.

Summary & Cover taken from
Length: 479 pages (Hardcover)
Source: Review Copy
Available Formats: Print/E-book/Audio
Publication Date: February 5th 2008 by St. Martin's Press

I finally did it.
After years, and I literally mean years. I finally gave Kristin Hannah a try. I've been avoiding her books like the plague. What can I say? I'm just not a chick lit/women's fiction fan for some reason.

However, after reading Firefly Lane I've got to say that I am a big Kristin Hannah fan now, she just brought the Kate and Tully's story to life so well I couldn't help but be sucked into their dramatic, tale of their 30 year friendship. I was especially impressed at how seamlessly the story flowed through the years of their friendship from the late 70's until the later half of the 2000's and seeing the characters grow, from naïve young girls into women who go on to lead such different lives but remain so close is not an easy undertaking but Hannah did it fantastically.

I do have to say thought that as much as I loved the two main characters I did have a clear favourite and that was Kate. She was much more likable and I thought the fact that she took other people into consideration as well as being able to find fault in her own actions made her a more appealing character. She was so warm and so strong, much stronger than Tully and I loved her.

Tully, well let's face it. She was a screw up and had a lot of issues many of which were due to how she was raised an ordeals she went through but she was so childlike even in her 40s that as much as I did enjoy her character, she often rubbed me the wrong way. I hated the fact that she never apologized to Kate for any of her actions, and how immature she could be. For me, I feel that you can only blame your past up to a point, beyond that you have to grow up and take responsibility for your own life, and your actions and I feel as though Tully was stunted and never reached that potential. Despite Tully's many failings, I appreciated how different she was and thought she was a great character.

I think Hannah did a brilliant job of weaving these two women's lives together so well over the course of so many years. There was laughter, and bitter tears, hopes, dreams, losses, betrayal and of course death all pulled together to create the spectacular story of TullyandKate. From Firefly Lane, to NYC and beyond, Kristin Hannah left me a little beat up and emotionally crippled  at the hands of her novel but I was so inspired by the bonds of friendship, no. Sisterhood is a much better word that it's no surprise that I wept at then end, but despite the sadness I felt as though all was as it aught to be.

So, the question is will I read another of Kristin Hannah's books? Absolutely. In fact, a couple of days after finishing Firefly Lane I read the sequel Fly Away and loved that as well (review will be up on Wednesday). I'm still nervous about trying her other novels because of how much I loved this duology but I am definitely going to read more by her.

I highly recommend this novel and it's sequel to everyone. If you're like me and don't usually care for women's fiction I urge you to give this one a try. It blew me away, and surprised me with how much I came to love the characters. If you like strong women, and a novel that celebrates life, love, friendship and yes, even death. Give this one a try! I don't say many novels are perfect, but to me this one was. Plus, this makes a great read to read with someone else and is full of life lesssons.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my free and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are 100% my own.
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  1. I was hoping a digitalized version of this one would be available on Open Library. No luck but I got Angel Falls which I shall read first and then try to track this down.

    1. I'm looking forward to reading Angel Falls soon Mystica, I hope you enjoy it though it is a shame that this wasn't available on Open Library. I hope you get to read this one soon.

  2. What a very thorough review. I need to go more in depth with the books I read. With my mommy brain I'd have to take notes though.

    1. Trust me I'm not always that meticulous, I just had so much to say about this one I couldn't stop lol :D

  3. Hi Kimberly. Kristin is a definite go-to author for me. I think I've read everything she's ever written. It did take me a couple of years to read this one bc when it came out my husband had just been diagnosed with cancer and well I just couldn't do it. But he's fine now and it's under my belt. My I suggest the next Hannah read for you. Homefront was a powerful read. Not chick-lit at all.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Debbie, I'm so glad I read this one. I want to read Homefront as well but might need to read that later this summer. To many sad books in a small space of time isn't good for me.

  4. LOL Kimberly I've been holding off on her too! I think you just talked me into giving her a go though :)

    1. DO IT!
      I meant, YES YOU SHOULD! Keep the tissues handy though :)

  5. Well, I've been holding off on her too, how original lol ! But now, you might have just changed my mind ;)

  6. Great review :) glad you ended up liking the book so much

  7. Thanks for this....I've been debating looking for a copy of this to read before Fly Away (which I won a copy of). Guess I will now :)


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