My rating: 4 of 5 stars
There are a lot of novels out there about friendships between women. What makes Kristin Hannah’s Firefly Lane great is the author’s gift for setting. The story spans four decades and, thanks to Hannah’s research and mention of iconic clothing, shows, people and events, I felt like I was there. I could picture everything perfectly even in the decade before I was born.
More important than the setting, though, are the characters. In a story like this, with a lot of emotional situations, it is important that the reader cares about the characters because there are times when both Kate and Tully can be unlikable. Hannah accomplishes this with plenty of detailed build up. This sounds like it could get dull but thanks to the afore mentioned details and the quick passage of time, it goes quickly.
About halfway through, it got to be a stressful read. I cared deeply about the main characters – especially Kate- and because of the inclusion of a short prologue, I knew something big was going to happen to come between the friends. With every turn of the page, I lived in dread of what that might be. Would it be something with Johnny? With Tully’s boundless ambition? Marah’s idolization of Tully? All of the above? It drove me on but made me loathe to read it. I knew my heart would break no matter what. I just didn’t know how much.
I am not a crier. I’ve read plenty of tear-jerking books and seen many tear-jerking movies with nary a catch in my throat. The last 40 pages or so of Firefly Lane was a constant flow of tears. And that only comes from really caring about those characters and what happens to them. There is a sequel, Fly Away, that I am nervous about. There are certain things I DO NOT want to see happen. Yet, I am curious about what happens to these characters I’ve come to love. Especially Marah.