Sunday, April 4, 2010

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

"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." ~from
the summary flap in the book

What exactly is a friendship between two women for 30 years? How is it possible to be friends this long? What would it be like? This book answers these questions and gives you an insight into this type of a sustainable friendship. For one thing, it always turns out differently than I ever expected. Perception is a key part of what really happens between two friends and that's often misunderstood at one point in a lifelong friendship like this one. As related through this quote from Kate in the book:

"I guess no one stays friends for more than thirty years without a few broken hearts along the way." (pg. 442)

This is the best way to describe this book which documents the lives, careers and a 30 year friendship span between TullyandKate. In their own respect, each individual is captivating enough but for completely different reasons. Each is driven but also differently. I wondered if it was very realistic to have two people so different be friends for so long. Overall, I'd like to hope this could be the case so I bought into it and read through this book in a week. Plus, I had felt the need after a dry spell of not reading that I really needed to read something from beginning to end. Of course, there were pros and cons to reading this book and in all fairness it is my first book I've read by Kristin Hannah. She has written a lot of books and I have no idea what they are like.
Pros: I did like the characters even if they sometimes seemed to good to be true and cliche at times. I actually happened to care a bit about them, hoped for improvement as they learned from life's experiences and wanted to find out what would happen to them. It was an emotional, thought-provoking ride through the memory lane of the 70's, 80's, 90's and today. I liked the references to these time periods and felt that they were well-researched.
Cons: This is women's fiction in the modern sense so there were those sex scenes which were a bit much for me. I questioned whether the characters actually matured and learned from their mistakes. Plus, I wanted to believe that a lot of these amazing things could happen to girls like Tully and Kate but in the end my perception fell flat in many of the plot twists of this story. It was entertaining but not as realistic as I had hoped it could be even when I really wanted it to be so much more in the end. Plus, it did seem similar to other ideas I've already seen or read before.
I've had some great discussion about this book with friends already. I think there will be a few moments of endearing scenes, such as the freedom that comes from being able to ride a bike without tightly gripping the steering wheel, that were written beautifully that will stick with me.

528 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 Reprint edition (January 6, 2009)
My rating: 3 stars

You may also like these perceptions:
Stephanie's Written Word
Ashley's Library
Steamy Dreamer


Amanda said...

I tried reading this a few months back and got bored pretty quickly. I think I gave it up right about the time they went to college.

Jessica said...

Ive heard very mixed things on this one which is why Ive never picked it up.

Julie said...

Amanda & Jessica ~ I think it's fair to say that reviews are very mixed on this one. I don't think her books are for everyone.

Thanks for reading my review!

L said...

I've had a couple of friends for 30 years, although we've rarely had too much drama - not counting high school anyway. Sounds like a high maintenance sort of novel. Loved reading what you said at the end though.

Julie said...

Thanks, Lula! I think you're right that this novel could be considered "high-maintenance."