Review: Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah


Release: 2008
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Contemporary, Chick Lit

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.

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.

Ever since I read The Nightingale years ago, a couple of friends recommended Firefly Lane by the same author. I haven’t read many chick-lit/contemporary books for the last ten years, so I thought this could be a nice change given how much I liked Nightingale. Almost 600 pages and many tears later, I think I know now why I don’t usually read this kind of books. I was a mess after finishing Firefly Lane!

This is a story about a friendship. As simple as that. And yes, it’s also about two women’s professional and personal lives, but the main concept behind this novel is friendship, and I loved the focus, as opposite to the thousands of books that revolve around romantic relationships. Tully and Kate were the best of friends and I loved seeing their friendship grow and evolve during so many years.

I admit I am very fond of this type of stories spanning many years, although I don’t read them as often as I would like to. I was hooked from the very first page when we know something has happened and the two friends aren’t speaking anymore. But what happened to make them grow apart? I admit I was sure it would had to do with something, but I was incredibly wrong. Then again, I had to wait like 500 pages to find out.

I guess Kate was more relatable, but I also admired Tully’s strength and determination. They were a great combo. Johnny was an interesting character as well, although he made me suffer a lot. Love triangles are not a favorite trope of mine, but here it was handled beautifully.

A beautiful and moving book about life, friendship and family.



14 thoughts on “Review: Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

  1. B Lostinacoulee says:

    Wonderful review, Annie! I love Kristin Hannah! I have this one and been meaning to read it. Now I really have too. So glad to see it was a good one for you! I love books that leave me a mess after reading them!!!


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