Monday, October 5, 2009
Review-Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
Hannah (On Mystic Lake) goes a little too far into Lifetime movie territory in her latest, an epic exploration of the complicated terrain between best friends—one who chooses marriage and motherhood while the other opts for career and celebrity. The adventures of poor, ambitious Tully Hart and middle-class romantic Kate Mularkey begin in the 1970s, but don't really get moving until about halfway into the book, when Tully, who claws her way to the heights of broadcast journalism, discovers it's lonely at the top, and Katie, a stay-at-home Seattle housewife, forgets what it's like to be a rebellious teen. What holds the overlong narrative together is the appealing nature of Tully and Katie's devotion to one another even as they are repeatedly tested by jealousy and ambition. Katie's husband, Johnny, is smitten with Tully, and Tully, who is abandoned by her own booze-and-drug-addled mother, relishes the adoration from Katie's daughter, Marah. 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.
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If you loved Beaches, you'll love this book. The book spans a 30 plus year friendship between Katie and Tully. I really identified with Kate. I'm a giver and tend to put other people before me, so I understood her struggles and problems. I've had friends like Tully but I couldn't handle them like Kate did. That's the bonus of knowing someone for so long. You can call them on their bullshit.
I loved that this book was set in the Seattle area. Although it did leave out 3 important to me Seattle events-WTO, the rise of grunge, and the death of Kurt Cobain. I thought it did a nice job showing the flavor of Seattle and talking about some "insider" events.
Overall, I recommend this book. I hated put it down. I just wanted to keep reading! It's a little sappy; I did tear up at the end. Other reviews can be found at The Girls Book Club, Book by Book, and Somewhere In the Suburbs.