Friday, January 25, 2008

Julie's Review: Firefly Lane

Summary: 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.

Review: Firefly Lane spans the 30 year friendship of TullyandKate, best friends since their younger years when an unlikely friendship was formed and a quick bond ignited. While overall I enjoyed the book and the format that it was written in, I found the characters to be completely sterotypical and 2-dimensional. Kate was the good girl who was not career driven and just wanted a family and ended up being a stay at home mom. Tully was the career driven one who wanted to be successful more than anything and at any cost. I find that most of my friends and myself included are some of both of these characters.

I loved the fact that the book was set throughout the 70s,80s,90s and 2000s. There were so mnay things I could identify with and recognized. The music references and fashions were some of my favorite things about the book and it took me back to my childhood and adolesence. I thought the instance that separated Tully and Kate for a while was a bit contrived but yet it fit into the characters personas.

I enjoyed the relationship between Kate and her mom, Mrs. M; Kate and her daughter Marah. It wasn't only a book about friendships but a book about all personal relationship. And while I don't think all girls hate their moms throughout all of their adolesence, I do think that the book acurately portrays the struggles of those relationships. We all think that our moms don't understand or went through what we are, the truth of the matter is they did to some point. And while some of the issues change the need for independence during the teen years never does.

To me this book about friendship was no different than others I've read in the past. I would read Kristin Hannah again but probably not for a while.

Final Take: 3/5


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