Friday, March 7, 2014

Book Review: Firefly Lane

Firefly Lane (audiobook)
by  Kristin Hannah
Date Read:  3/7/14
Rating: ★ ★ 

Firefly Lane was not quite what I expected.  I had read a few reviews a while back about this book being about a friendship, but for some reason, I didn’t know it spanned a 30 year time period.  Nevertheless the book was pretty good.

I liked the concept of this book.  Girls will make lifelong friends, and there are ups and downs throughout all friendships. Heck, I have had a friend since 7th grade, but we’ve become estranged for the past 4 years. But we’re now getting back in touch. Our lives went different directions, and as we get older, it’s hard to keep in touch when you don’t have as many things in common any more.  But if it’s a real friendship, you’ll usually find your way back at some point.

This book was about two girls who met when they were 14.  They became friends after one of the girls has a heartbreaking experience.  I liked the part the best when they were younger.  They hadn’t quite gotten annoying yet.  The background information on Tully was very interesting and it left me being very curious where she would end up.

Kate was more similar to me (of course I’m about the age of their kids…) but her personality was more like mine so I could relate to her more.  But eventually she started to get annoying to me as well because she never stood up for herself.  She would always let Tully talk her in to doing things she didn’t want to do, and she let Tully run her life for years.

Their high school years were the most entertaining though.  Once they got to college it started to drag for me a bit.  I feel like this story was dragged out a bit much.  It was on 15 discs for crying out loud!  That was roughly 15 hours of audio!    And I didn’t feel like their voices changed from middle school, to high school, to college.  They seemed to be changing schools, but not actually growing up.

The story picked up for me once Kate was married. But again, all her insecurities started to really frustrate me.  She was so insecure in herself and seemed to have such low self-esteem. I think that’s why she couldn’t stand up for herself with Tully either.  But the story itself started to get really good again.

Once they graduated college the girls really start drifting and their priorities changing.  I liked watching it because it was very similar to real life.  But it also meant it got boring.  I don’t usually read books for reality.  I read them to get AWAY from reality.

But the book got good again once kids started showing up.  I’m now at this point in my life so I was able to relate to it as well, which might be why it started to get interesting to me again. I can really related to Kate’s miscarriage.  It made me sob.  It brought back so many memories – I wish I knew that so I wasn’t listening to it in the car, while driving on the freeway!  But it gives me hope that Kate went on to have healthy kids.  But Kate’s exhaustion seemed a little over the top.  I know having kids will be tiring.  But she was a stay at home mom (which I’m not by any means saying is easy – I know that it is difficult being with your kids all day), but it also means she had more time to get house work done, etc which working parents don’t have.  I know a lot of moms – especially new moms – who are not nearly as exhausted as Kate was.

Once Kate was a mom I felt she seemed to grow up though.  Tully got successful and seemed to mostly grow up. I got bored once it focused on how much Kate and her daughter fought and I hated it when Tully got in the middle of it.  I just wanted to slap her for Kate.
I tried to guess what the big betrayal was going to be, but I was way off.  I didn’t really expect that at all – and frankly, I don’t think I would have ever gotten back in touch with her if she had done that to me.  It was awful.

So the best part of the story is what happens when your lifelong friendship falls apart?  What do you do?  How do you mend the pieces together? Do you suck it up and be the bigger person?  When something awful happens in your life, who do you want to talk to and be there with you?

The final part of the story is really very sad.  It definitely had me tearing up.  I think it focused on this a little too much, but it really got across the point.  And it also teaches the readers some important lessons.

Overall I think the concept was really good and mostly achieved.  The characters could have been a little more lovable though.  And the story probably could have been about 5 chapters shorter.  Some neat things were tied back together at the end which was both sad and neat.  I think if you have a really good friend, you should read this book.  But beware that there are some slow parts.  Just look for the overall arcs and be prepared to cry!


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