Monday, February 6, 2012

Firefly Lane - Kristin Hannah


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.
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. 

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.


This was an emotionally charged novel with a very compelling narrator.  Beginning at the awkward age of fourteen and closing at the end of a lifetime, this journey documents a relistic telling of live and love, but especially of the kind of friendship that lasts into death.

I am very critical of character development, and a story like this hangs entirely on how well the author paces character development and how realistically she does so.  I find that authors who write in first person are often less successful with character development, or is only able to do so with one character.  Kristin Hannah was able to show the growth of the narrator from girl to woman as well as that of her best friend.  These two characters are foils of each other, and I think it is often hard to like both characters when they are too different.  I found that at times I didn't like Tully, but overall Kristin Hannah was able to show why they stayed so close throughout the story and still keep them well-rounded characters, both with believable strenghts and flaws.  It is also difficult to keep the character's voices true over such a wide span of life - people change drastically from their teens to twenties to thirties.  I was impressed at how genuinely both of these characters stayed despite their transformations.  They didn't become unrecognizable, but there was true growth from both ends

Prose - well-written but nothing special
Plot - very, very good.  Events happen realistically,
Character development - excellent


Chick lit readers, anyone looking for a good literature book.  NOT recommended for someone who isn't interested in crying.

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