Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Julie's Review: Night Road

Night Road Summary: For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children’s needs above her own, and it shows—her twins, Mia and Zach—are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill moves into their small, close knit community, no one is more welcoming than Jude. Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable. Jude does everything to keep her kids on track for college and out of harm’s way. It has always been easy-- until senior year of high school. Suddenly she is at a loss. Nothing feels safe anymore; every time her kids leave the house, she worries about them. On a hot summer’s night her worst fears come true. One decision will change the course of their lives. In the blink of an eye, the Farraday family will be torn apart and Lexi will lose everything. In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forget…or the courage to forgive. Vivid, universal, and emotionally complex, NIGHT ROAD raises profound questions about motherhood, identity, love, and forgiveness. It is a luminous, heartbreaking novel that captures both the exquisite pain of loss and the stunning power of hope. This is Kristin Hannah at her very best, telling an unforgettable story about the longing for family, the resilience of the human heart, and the courage it takes to forgive the people we love. ~amazon.com

Review: You know what I love about getting an ARC? They don't always include a summary of the novel, so you go in with a vague recollection of what the book is about. I knew that Night Road was a family drama but I couldn't remember the exact plot. Kristin Hannah definitely knows how to tell a family drama. The Farraday's are a seemingly perfect family. Jude, is a pulled together stay at home mom, who's kids are the center of her world. Popular Zach, is a level headed boy, who always tries to do the right thing. Mia, is a shy, introverted, self-proclaimed nerd who wants to go to USC for theater. Enter, Lexi, the new girl in town who befriends Mia on her first day at school. The two are inseparable from that point forward. Lexi, is taken in by the Farraday family and treated like one of their own.

Things start to change senior year of high school. The pressure of getting into USC and all the other functions start stressing out Jude. She starts expecting more out of Zach and Mia. Meanwhile, they just want to enjoy their friends and their last year of high school. Things also change between Zach and Lexi; they begin to date and fall in love. The three of them band together to protect each other and are as close as ever. Then one fateful night, all of that changes. Some one dies, someone is convicted and nothing ever remains the same.

Night Road is a story about love, loss, parenting, forgiveness and moving on. I did cry at several different points in the book. I'm old enough to remember my high school days with fondness and as a mother I am in fear of my kids high school years. Good kids can make bad choices and not realize the consequences until it's too late.

Being a mother is never easy. Every age has it's pros and cons. We as parents do the best we can and hope for the best. I don't know how I'll handle those teenage years because let's face it, the probably won't listen any way. You pray that every thing you told them sticks during these years.

I liked Jude but I think I felt more for her husband Miles. He was trying his best to try to help her and she kept refusing.

There were a couple twists I didn't see coming and then some plot points that I could. Even though I figured some out, it didn't take away from the story for me.

I have several Kristin Hannah books in my huge TBR pile. I always buy them when they come out but haven't read them. I'm looking forward to reading both Winter Garden and True Colors. My first experience with Ms. Hannah's writing was Firefly Lane and while I didn't love it; it did make me want to read more of her writing. At some point I'm sure I'll go back at read all of her previously published books.

If you are looking for a great family drama in the form of a novel, then go out and buy Night Road.

Final Take: 4.25/5

Thanks to the publisher for sending me an ARC of the book.



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