Wednesday, July 17, 2013

8 Heart Review: Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Firefly Lane
Kristin Hannah

Page Count: 479

Release Date: 5 February 2008
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (Macmillan)
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher via My Chaotic Ramblings in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Melissa!)
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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
Soon, Tully had Kate laughing. That was the thing about best friends. Like sisters and mothers, they could piss you off and make you cry and break your heart, but in the end, when the chips were down, they were there, making you laugh even in your darkest hours.

Here's another review I wrote for My Chaotic Ramblings. If you haven't tried Kristin Hannah's novels before, you are definitely missing out from something good, and Firefly Lane is no exception. Now go get scootin' and get yourself one of her books!

A quick snippet of what I thought about 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.

Read my full review here!

Love

He tucked the hair behind [Kate's] ear. "I don't want to hurt you."

She wanted to say simply, Then don't, but this wasn't a time for simple answers or pretense. Honesty mattered now. "I'll take the risk of getting hurt if you will," she said evenly.

A hint of a smile played at the edges of his mouth, but she didn't see it in his eyes. In fact, he looked more than a little worried. "I knew you'd be dangerous."

She didn't understand. "Me? You must be joking. No one has ever thought I was dangerous."

"I do."

"Why?"

He didn't answer; instead, he leaned forward just enough to kiss her. She closed her eyes, waiting for it. She wasn't sure, but maybe, just before his lips touched hers, he said, "Because you're the kind of girl a guy could fall in love with."

He didn't sound particularly happy as he said it.

8 hearts: An engaging read; highly recommended (x)