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Firefly Lane (#1) by Kristin Hannah
Genre: Women’s Fiction | My Review Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
479 Pages | Published: February 5, 2008 by St. Martin’s Press
Book Jacket Synopsis
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.
- You can be anything you want. But you have to take a risk sometimes. Reach out. One thing I can tell you for sure is this: we only regret what we don’t do in life.
- 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.
- That’s the funny thing about writing your life story. You start out trying to remember dates and times and names. You think it’s about facts, your life, that what you’ll look back on and remember are the successes and failures, the timeline of your youth and middle age, but that isn’t it at all.
Review & Thoughts
Initial Thoughts: I purchased Firefly Lane as part of a three book set from Book Outlet, originally from Costco. When I realized that Firefly Lane was coming as an original series to Netlifx I quickly moved this to the top of my TBR pile! After finishing the novel I was little sad that the Netflix show is so different than the book but both are equally worth the time spent.
Themes, Elements & Review Notes:
So many themes were woven throughout the story and I loved that it was about two very different women and the way that their friendship played out in their lives. The friendship between Tully and Johnny is definitely something I wouldn’t have been okay with if I was in Kate’s shoes.
It was sad to see the dynamics between Kate and Tully and Marah; Tully wanting to have a connection because she doesn’t have her own children, Marah loving her mom’s best friend because she’s her version of the ‘cool mom’, and Kate dealing with Tully overstepping the boundaries of friendship and motherhood.
Mini spoiler? I loved that Kate wrote the story of her life for her children to read. I think it’s a beautiful aspect of life that you leave a legacy when you’re gone and it’s a wonderful way to be remembered. I think it’s something everyone should do, to write the story of their life to leave their history for their family to enjoy.
Existential thoughts hit hard while reading this because it makes you think about your own mortality and the meaning and purpose of life. The meaning of life is love; to love and be loved and inspire love in others. This book left me with tears steaming down my face for the last bits and generally anytime I connect enough with a story that it makes me cry, it’s a 5 star read. I love stories that hit me in the heart and soul.
Content Warning: There are multiple content warnings that could be potential triggers, however the story was written in a gentle way that I don’t think would leave someone feeling disturbed. Difficult topics include; rape, self-image, gun-shot victim, war, breast cancer. Regarding cancer; I appreciated the reminder to be in tune with your body and to know the signs when things are wrong.
In a Nutshell: What an incredible and beautifully written novel! Slower paced but completely captivating, heart-wrenching. I fell in love with the characters, flaws and all. A five star read; contender for book of the month and book of the year!
Book Format & Source: Paperback purchased from Book Outlet
About Kristin Hannah
From the Author’s Amazon Page: Kristin Hannah is the award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including the international blockbuster, The Nightingale, which was named Goodreads Best Historical fiction novel for 2015 and won the coveted People’s Choice award for best fiction in the same year. Additionally, it was named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon, iTunes, Buzzfeed, the Wall Street Journal, Paste, and The Week.
Kristin’s newest new release, The Great Alone, was published on February 6, 2018 (St. Martin’s Press) and became an instant New York Times #1 bestseller. The novel, an epic love story and intimate family drama set in Alaska in the turbulent 1970’s is a daring, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival and the wildness that lives in both nature and man. Like The Nightingale, The Great Alone was voted the best Historical novel of the year by Goodreads readers.
The Nightingale is currently in production at Tri Star, with director Melanie Laurent and Dakota and Elle Fanning to star. Tri Star has also optioned The Great Alone and is in development.
Kristin’s upcoming novel, The Four Winds, set during the Great Depression, will be published on February 9, 2021.