Thursday, November 8, 2012
Like a lot of Hannah's books, this story is about the bond that two teenage girls make in school and how that bond stretches throughout their lives. Katie is the nerdy girl who's lived in the same place her whole life and (without knowing it) has the picture perfect family. Tully has just moved into town with her pot-head, mostly-absent mother and is immediately dubbed "the coolest girl in the world" at school. The two girls live across the street from each other and become fast friends after a traumatic event occurs pretty early-on to Tully. She reaches out to Katie and the two become inseparable BFFs almost immediately.
There were a couple of things that really brought this book home to me. One, I grew up in a family that moved relatively often and because of that, my oldest friends are girls that I met in middle school...kind of like Katie and Tully. I have no "best friends since kindergarten" because when you're constantly moving as a child you don't have the wherewithal to keep in contact with other young girls. I really connected with Tully in this instance because she never really had a chance to make a true friend like this until she met Katie.
Secondly, Tully's mother makes one very blatant statement at the beginning of the book that affects her for the rest of her life...she tells Tully to never say she's sorry because that's just showing weakness to other people. I've known women like this. And it is so, utterly frustrating. Katie really struggles through a couple hiccups in their relationship throughout the novel and all of it could have been smoothed over if Tully simply had the power to say two little words, "I'm sorry." I just really connected with Katie on this level...
I was really enjoying this book, in fact, I read it in under three days because I was enjoying it so much. But, I was not prepared for the last 50 pages. Whoa...let me just say, have a box of tissue nearby. This is such a real story, with real characters that have real flaws. And the ending isn't perfect, but it's soooo real. Can I say "real" one more time without it being annoying?
Anyway, big thumbs up for Kristin Hannah on this one! While Winter Garden is still my favorite book of hers, Firefly Lane comes in at a close second.
P.S. Kristin Hannah just posted on her Facebook page that she's releasing a semi-sequel to this book on April 23rd! Hannah says this is not a traditional sequel, but more of a trip back to the world created in FireFly Lane. I suppose it's available for pre-order starting today, how exciting! I'll definitely be putting this one on my to-read list!