Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

I read this one for my book club in December. It's a nearly 500-page hardcover (coming out in paperback in January) but quite a quick read. We are introduced to the two main characters Kate and Tully as children, both in need of a real friend. They become instant and inseparable friends. Kate comes from a very traditional family: parents still married, brother, mother cares about what she does. Tully (short for Tallulah) never knew her father, her drug-addicted mother was in and out of her life, she grew up living with her grandparents, and just had a very unstable childhood. Kate was attracted to Tully's rebellious, unconventional nature and Tully loved Kate's homey family.

The book follows these two ladies through the next 3 decades of their lives and their friendship. The two women grow up to have very different lives. Kate becomes a married, stay at home mom to three children while Tully has a very successful career as a TV news journalist. She never marries and has no children. There friendship takes a few hits as they get older and ultimately they end up not speaking for more than a year until tragedy brings them together again. The end of this one is a tearjerker and I spent much of the book wondering when the inevitable tragedy would occur and to whom (I'll keep it to myself so no spoilers!).

Overall, this was a fast read, but it could have benefited from one more edit before publishing. It really seemed to drag out at 500 pages. And I feel a bit of the older years could have been edited down. Tully's selfishness really got on my nerves after awhile. I give it about 3 out of 5 stars. I may try something else by this author just because it was a quick read and she has a few other books that sound interesting. But I'll check the page length before delving into them. The rest of my book club had luke-warm feelings toward this one as well.


allisonmariecat said...

I've been wondering about this since I've seen it everywhere, and now I think I'll skip it :) Thanks for the review!

Eesti said...

This is a wonderful book that I COULD NOT put down! It a beautiful story of friendship, but has other relationships including mother-daughter and wife-husband that are complex and fascinating. Hannah does a terrific job presenting 2 of the many different paths women can take in life: wife and mother or career. The characters in her book chose the extremes of these paths and therefore have difficulty combining them. I think that she presents these 2 choices beautifully and almost everyone can relate to these women's struggles and triumphs. And as a mother, her description of motherhood is spot-on! This book has humor, love, loss, laughter, has everything. It is the best book I have read in a long time. I truly can't recommend it enough.