Book Review: Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Firefly Lane
Author: Kristin Hannah
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Chick Lit/Romance
Released: February 5th 2008
Review Source: Gift
Available: Amazon

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.

In the Summer on 1974, Kate Mularkey happened upon one of the most gorgeous girls she has ever seen; Tully Hart. Tully moved into the house across the street with her mother Cloud. Cloud (Dorothy Hart) is a pothead and didn't care much for her daughter at all. Since Tully never had the real family that she always imagined, she was essentially adopted by the Mularkey's as their second daughter. The girls got into the typical teenage trouble of sneaking out of the house, tasting alcohol and occasionally smoking. By the end of the summer, they were known as "TullyandKate", an inseparable union.

The girls dream of growing up and becoming Television news anchors. Once they became known, Tully and Kate would be rich beyond their wildest dreams and travel the world together. This has to happen, it will happen as far as Tully is concerned. Once in college, Kate decides that this may not be what she has always wanted. This is a secret that she carries around with her because she is afraid to disappoint not only her best friend, but her family as well.

Kate finally does find the passion that she had always been looking for: love. That is all Kate truly wants in life. However, what about her career? What will she decide to be the drive that makes her push to succeed? Tully and Kate will discover that passion, even if it means that it's not what Tully always dreamed of.

As the years pass and the girls grow older, their bond seems to only get stronger. Kate and Tully both know deep down inside that no matter what, they will always be best friends. Kristin Hannah really grasps the concept of a true friendship in this story. There are ups and downs, twists and turns, and happiness and anger. No matter how hard life gets, if you have a best friend, you will never be alone.

This is definitely a recommended read for everyone who cherishes the bond of their friendships. I do have to warn you that you will need a box of tissues in the final few chapters. Well done Kristin Hannah, another book that will gladly be placed upon my shelf as a cherished and favorite book!

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