About the Book:
From the New York Times bestselling author of On Mystic Lake comes a powerful novel of love, loss, and the magic of friendship. . . .
In the turbulent summer of 1974, Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the eighth-grade social food chain. 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: Kate, doomed to be forever uncool, with a loving family who mortifies her at every turn. Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, but with a secret that is destroying her. They make a pact to be best friends forever; by summer’s end they’ve become TullyandKate. Inseparable.
So begins Kristin Hannah’s magnificent new novel. Spanning more than three decades and playing out across the ever-changing face of the Pacific Northwest, Firefly Lane is the poignant, powerful story of two women and the friendship that becomes the bulkhead of their lives.
From the beginning, Tully is desperate to prove her worth to the world. Abandoned by her mother at an early age, she longs to be loved unconditionally. In the glittering, big-hair era of the eighties, she looks to men to fill the void in her soul. But in the buttoned-down nineties, it is television news that captivates her. She will follow her own blind ambition to New York and around the globe, finding fame and success . . . and loneliness.
Kate knows early on that her life will be nothing special. Throughout college, she pretends to be driven by a need for success, but all she really wants is to fall in love and have children and live an ordinary life. In her own quiet way, Kate is as driven as Tully. What she doesn’t know is how being a wife and mother will change her . . . how she’ll lose sight of who she once was, and what she once wanted. And how much she’ll envy her famous best friend. . . .
For thirty years, Tully and Kate buoy each other through life, weathering the storms of friendship—jealousy, anger, hurt, resentment. They think they’ve survived it all until a single act of betrayal tears them apart . . . and puts their courage and friendship to the ultimate test.
Firefly Lane is for anyone who ever drank Boone’s Farm apple wine while listening to Abba or Fleetwood Mac. More than a coming-of-age novel, it’s the story of a generation of women who were both blessed and cursed by choices. It’s about promises and secrets and betrayals. And ultimately, about the one person who really, truly knows you—and knows what has the power to hurt you . . . and heal you. Firefly Lane is a story you’ll never forget . . . one you’ll want to pass on to your best friend.
My first thoughts: Enjoyable story! Audiobook recording is a bit outdated, however.
I adore books about women’s friendships. And I was excited to listen to this audiobook since the book has been tuned into a limited series on Netflix. Firefly Lane is a sweeping book, written about two best friends named Kate and Tully, who first meet in 1974.
The book is told in a linear timeline which works well to tell this broad story. I loved Tully, even as she steamrolled over her friend Kate at many points in their life. Kate was a little harder to like for me, I felt she didn’t stand up for herself during the bok. But I absolutely loved the scope of the book, it was perfect for someone my age who was born during the Baby Boom.
I truly was touched by Kate and Tully’s enduring friendship and liked the book much more than the Netflix series. Kate’s husband Johnny Ryan is a wonderful and loyal husband in the book and that was changed in the Netflix adaptation.
Despite some of the very emotional and turbulent events experienced by Kate and Tully, all in all I found this to be a fairly low angst story. I know that some will disagree with me considering the events of the last part of the book. I also felt that the audiobook recording was very outdated, with fake telephone and radio effects which really added nothing to the narration. This book might benefit from an updated recording with a narrator who sticks to using one, consistent voice.
I really loved the behind-the-scenes look at television news reporting and production and recommend this book if you are a fan of coming of age stories and saga fiction. While Firefly Lane is not a favorite Kristin Hannah book of mine (The Great Alone is stunning!), I still very much enjoyed this story of lasting and enduring friendship.