Title: Firefly Lane
Author: Kristin Hannah
Release Date: February 4, 2008
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4 out of 5
Thirteen year old Kate Mularkey didn’t really have any close friends until Tully Hart moved in across the street. Though Tully seemed to have it all, she was just as lost as Kate and in need of someone to support her and believe in her. As the years pass and Kate and Tully grow, they remain inseparable. They have their ups and downs, until Tully betrays Kate in a way she never thought possible.
Firefly Lane is a gripping and heart wrenching novel about the importance and power of friendship. Tully and Kate are lost souls at the beginning of the novel. Kate is a “good girl” – she does her homework and doesn’t stay out late. But she doesn’t have anyone to share her good times with, no one to understand her. Tully is beautiful and she seems so put together, but underneath, she’s broken. Her mom shows much more interest in smoking pot than in her own daughter. Tully find a home with Kate, someone to love her unconditionally.
A book like Firefly Lane is very character driven, and it simply wouldn’t work without engaging and lifelike characters that the reader really roots for. Luckily, Kristin Hannah is very good at that – Kate and Tully were both well-written characters. It’s not difficult to sympathize with Kate, who’s always overshadowed and never in the spotlight. She’s glad to step aside for Tully, but at the same time she hurts every time she does. I loved it when Kate finally decided to step out of Tully’s shadow, to begin to live for her own and was glad that it didn’t take too long to happen.
Tully was a little more difficult of a character. Because she’s the star, it’s hard to sympathize with her as much. Tully is by no means unlikeable, but she makes poor decisions a lot of the time, and she could be very selfish. Though she wanted to be a good friend to Kate and cherished her very much, it was clear that Tully tended to put herself first, or at least to not think about situations from her dear friend’s point of view.
Firefly Lane is a novel that tugs at your heart strings. It’s meant to make the reader cry, and it certainly does. In some ways, the drama is over the top. However, Kristin Hannah knows her audience well; she knows how to hook them, how to keep them reading. Despite the length, this is a book you’ll stay up late into night to finish. Fans of women’s fiction should definitely pick this one up.