Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Julie's Review: Fly Away

Summary: Once, a long time ago, I walked down a night-darkened road called Firefly Lane, all alone, on the worst night of my life, and I found a kindred spirit. That was our beginning. More than thirty years ago. TullyandKate. You and me against the world. Best friends forever. But stories end, don't they? You lose the people you love and you have to find a way to go on. . . .   Tully Hart has always been larger than life, a woman fueled by big dreams and driven by memories of a painful past. She thinks she can overcome anything until her best friend, Kate Ryan, dies. Tully tries to fulfill her deathbed promise to Kate---to be there for Kate's children---but Tully knows nothing about family or motherhood or taking care of people. Sixteen-year-old Marah Ryan is devastated by her mothers death. Her father, Johnny, strives to hold the family together, but even with his best efforts, Marah becomes unreachable in her grief. Nothing and no one seems to matter to her . . . until she falls in love with a young man who makes her smile again and leads her into his dangerous, shadowy world. Dorothy Hart---the woman who once called herself Cloud---is at the center of Tully's tragic past. She repeatedly abandoned her daughter, Tully, as a child, but now she comes back, drawn to her daughters side at a time when Tully is most alone. At long last, Dorothy must face her darkest fear: Only by revealing the ugly secrets of her past can she hope to become the mother her daughter needs. A single, tragic choice and a middle-of-the-night phone call will bring these women together and set them on a poignant, powerful journey of redemption. Each has lost her way, and they will need each one another---and maybe a miracle---to transform their lives. An emotionally complex, heart-wrenching novel about love, motherhood, loss, and new beginnings, Fly Away reminds us that where there is life, there is hope, and where there is love, there is forgiveness. Told with her trademark powerful storytelling and illuminating prose, Kristin Hannah reveals why she is one of the most beloved writers of our day. ~powells.com

Review: When I heard that Ms. Hannah was going to write a sequel to Firefly Lane, I was extremely curious. I mean given the ending of that novel, where was there to go?  In Fly Away she fast-forwards 4 years in the future after the events of the first novel. Not only that but she gives us a glimpse into those 4 years in flashbacks.We are told the story through different points of view: Tully, Marah, Dorothy and Johnny. All of them have been to hell and back. It's taken some of them longer to climb out of the dark than others, but they all eventually find their way.

As with Firefly Lane,  I found Tully utterly self-absorbed. I mean I get it, but it's time to get over yourself. She is supposed to be helping Johnny with the kids but instead she gets caught up in herself with disastrous results. Marah is lost in the depth of what was said and not said. She runs away and lives a dismal life with her boyfriend in Seattle. It isn't until she is called home for Tully that she begins to come back to her old self.

The story I enjoyed the most was Dorothy, Tully's mom. It was an insight that we had not been privy to in the previous novel.  She is trying to do right by her daughter and while it won't make up for the years of being gone, it is a start.

What Ms. Hannah does extraordinarily well is paint a realistic view of grief, depression and family. She never fails to amaze me with the detail and emotion that go into her books. Now, this might not be my favorite of her books, but I'm glad that I revisited these characters. For those who have read Firefly Lane, then you will definitely want to pick up Fly Away to revisit the characters.

I also love how this cover ties into the one from Firefly Lane. I know authors don't have much say in the cover but I love it when it's connected to the first novel.

Fly Away is on sale on 4/23/13.

Final Take: 3.75/5

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for an ARC of the novel. 

Click here for my Firefly Lane review. 



Anonymous ,  April 30, 2013 at 10:52 PM  

I think I need to read Firefly Lane first!

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