“It’s never good to sit around and wait for someone of something to change your life.”
Originally published in 2013, Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah is set in the turbulent summer of 1974, when Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the social food-chain at school. 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, but they make a pact to be best friends forever. By summer’s end, they’ve become TullyandKate.
For thirty years, Tully and Kate buoy each other through life, weathering the storms of friendship, jealousy, anger, hurt and resentment. Tully follows her ambition to find fame and success. Kate knows that all she wants is to fall in love and have a family but what she doesn’t know is how being a wife and mother will change her. They think they’ve survived it all until a single act of betrayal tears them apart and puts their courage and lifelong friendship to the ultimate test
Firefly Lane is the kind of book that makes you feel all of the emotions. You laugh, you cry, you feel angry, and you constantly find yourself smiling. And oh boy, did I cry.
The book takes you on a real journey that is filled with the warmth of memories and nostalgia but also of the pain of regret and disappointment. You experience all of the highs and lows so it’s no wonder that this is a relationship that sticks with you.
Stupidly, for some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to read the Author’s Notes before starting this book, which is a really bad idea. Don’t do it if you haven’t read this book yet, because you find out where the book is heading so I spent a lot of my time waiting for that to happen. But it didn’t really affect my reading, though, as the final few chapters completely broke my heart and left me in a puddle of tears, even though I knew what was going to happen.
For most of this book, I didn’t think I was going to love it as much as I did in the end, so I understand a lot of the opinions about the characters feeling quite one-dimensional. I don’t agree with this in regards to Kate at all, but I do think that Tully is a difficult character to warm to. But then that’s not necessarily the fault of Kristin Hannah, as some people are as narrow-minded and selfish as Tully. But I can also understand why Kate sticks by her. Friendships like theirs don’t come around often, which is why it’s so easy to forgive them for their wrongdoings, no matter how frequent.
I loved Kate’s character, though. I constantly found myself relating to her as I know all too well how easy it is to lose yourself in motherhood. I especially love how her relationship with her daughter was explored with how hard it can be to clash with one of your children yet be desperate for them to see how much you care. I also loved Johnny’s loyalty to her and didn’t expect to feel so connected to their relationship at the end was a welcomed surprise.
I love Kristin Hannah’s writing. While I feel like the story itself is quite weak compared to other books I have read by her, she does a remarkable job of investing you in her characters. Again, the end completely broke me, especially as I lay in bed reading this with my little one asleep on me. I gave him a little squeeze and reminded myself to make the most of life a little more.
As soon as I finished this book, I went off to Netflix to watch the new Firefly Lane series. I won’t talk about there here because I wasn’t impressed, but I will write up another post about my feelings regarding the adaptation soon.
I would definitely recommend this book, though. It’s a brilliant depiction of friendship with so much to invest in. It’s certainly a book that will stick with me.