Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Stephanie's #Review: Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Title: Firefly Lane
Author: Kristin Hannah
Series: n/a
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Date: February 5th 2008
Pages: 479
ISBN: 9780312364083
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon

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

Rating: 4 My Review:

I am simply astounded by the depth and glittering passion with which Kristin Hannah writes. This novel follows the lives of two young girls who each grow up to be strong women—strong, in their own individual ways. The friendship between Tully and Kate is the kind you can only find if you're very lucky, or if you're a character in a novel, so reading about their ups and downs was both exhilarating, and a comforting escape. Heavy on characters, Firefly Lane excellently demonstrates a realistic and oftentimes painful growing-up process—in two different ways. The settings are perfectly written as well; I love how it captures the youth, freedom, and exhilaration of 70s- and 80s-era America, as well as the terrifying excitement brought onto the world—and the media—at the turn of the 21st century. The style is definitely Firefly Lane's biggest strength. Hannah's mastery of the written word, and her obvious talent of conveying every emotion on the spectrum, shine through with every sentence she pens. The story itself isn't completely thrilling. For the most part, reading this book was like reading the biographies of your two best friends, rather than an actual novel with a centralized plot, which is why I'm not giving this one a full five stars. However, this doesn't mean there's no action or nothing powerful through the course of the book; Firefly Lane is in every which way compelling, emotionally resonant, and substantial. This is the kind of book you won't forget—won't want to forget—because it possesses magical anecdotes on friendship, family, love, and life. Keep tissues nearby and be prepared to grow immensely attached to the vibrant, unforgettable characters, because you're in for a real treat!


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