Review: Firefly Lane
By Kristin Hannah
479 pages, published February 5, 2008
St. Martin's Press
Source: purchased for myself
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.
I've become a huge Kristin Hannah fan over the last couple years--my first Hannah read was The Great Alone, and have since read The Nightingale and her latest, The Four Winds. She's definitely become an auto-read author for me, and now I get the treat of diving into her backlist.
I picked up Firefly Lane at a used book sale a couple years back, and finally picked it up once I heard about the Netflix series. I'm SO GLAD I read this one-- I absolutely loved it. I loved how the book was written chronologically--starting from the 1970's and moving forward. Because it was chronological, I felt like I "grew up" with Tully and Kate. I got so attached to them and so invested in their lives. I loved the realistic portrayal of friendship and what it means to consider friends family. I definitely related to Kate more than Tully, but was still invested in Tully's story as well. As with all Kristin Hannah novels, this is an emotional read--but an absolutely beautiful story of friendship.
After finishing this book, I immediately ordered Fly Away, the second in the series. However, DO NOT do what I did.....do NOT read the description for Fly Away before you finish Firefly Lane. There ARE spoilers.