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Reviews of Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Firefly Lane

A Novel

by Kristin Hannah

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah X
Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2008, 496 pages

    Paperback:
    Jan 2009, 528 pages

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Book Summary

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.

CHAPTER
ONE

They used to be called the Firefly Lane girls. That was a long time ago—more than three decades—but just now, as she lay in bed listening to a winter storm raging outside, it seemed like yesterday.

In the past week (unquestionably the worst seven days of her life), she'd lost the ability to distance herself from the memories. Too often lately in her dreams it was 1974; she was a teenager again, coming of age in the shadow of a lost war, riding her bike beside her best friend in a darkness so complete it was like being invisible. The place was relevant only as a reference point, but she remembered it in vivid detail: a meandering ribbon of asphalt bordered on either side by gullies of murky water and hillsides of shaggy grass. Before they met, that road seemed to go nowhere at all; it was just a country lane named after an insect no one had ever seen in this rugged blue and green corner of the world.

Then they saw it through each other's eyes....

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Booklist
Hannah's latest is a moving and realistic portrait of a complex and enduring friendship.

Library Journal
The story is overlong and formulaic in places, but Hannah's many fans will not be deterred; they will enjoy the book, with its tearjerker ending.

Publishers Weekly
Hannah takes the easy way out with an over-the-top tear-jerker ending, though her upbeat message of the power of friendship and family will, for some readers, trump even the most contrived plot twists.

School Library Journal
You might want to recommend a box of tissues to go along with this tear-jerking, yet hopeful book

Kirkus Reviews
Dated sermonizing on career versus motherhood, and conflict driven by characters' willed helplessness, sap this tale of poignancy.

Reader Reviews

Sassafras

Stubbornly Reading
On the plus side, this is my era. I can relate to the cultural references over decades, the shared angst of balancing career and family, etc. My favorite part of the book is when the friends meet, bond, and struggle through their teenage years. But ...   Read More
Vic

Trite and dull
I just couldn't finish this. There is nothing original about the characters nor the plot. I read the summary so I know how it ends. The writing is bland and repetitive. My book club assigned it; I will be curious to see what the others thought.

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Read-Alikes

Read-Alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Firefly Lane, try these:

  • The Lullaby of Polish Girls jacket

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    Published 2014

    About this book

    A vibrant, engaging debut novel that follows the friendship of three women from their youthful days in Poland to their complicated, not-quite-successful adult lives.

  • The Collective jacket

    The Collective

    by Don Lee

    Published 2013

    About this book

    A sparkling bildungsroman about friendship and betrayal, art and race.

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