Title: Fly Away (Firefly Lane, #2)
Author: Kristin Hannah
Publish Date: April 23, 2013
# of Pages: 400
(From Goodreads) Once, a long time ago, I walked down a night-darkened road called Firefly Lane, all alone, on the worst night of my life, and I found a kindred spirit. That was our beginning. More than thirty years ago. TullyandKate. You and me against the world. Best friends forever. But stories end, don’t they? You lose the people you love and you have to find a way to go on. . . .
Tully Hart has always been larger than life, a woman fueled by big dreams and driven by memories of a painful past. She thinks she can overcome anything until her best friend, Kate Ryan, dies. Tully tries to fulfill her deathbed promise to Kate–to be there for Kate’s children — but Tully knows nothing about family or motherhood or taking care of people.
Sixteen-year-old Marah Ryan is devastated by her mother’s death. Her father, Johnny, strives to hold the family together, but even with his best efforts, Marah becomes unreachable in her grief. Nothing and no one seems to matter to her . . . until she falls in love with a young man who makes her smile again and leads her into his dangerous, shadowy world.
Dorothy Hart–the woman who once called herself Cloud–is at the center of Tully’s tragic past. She repeatedly abandoned her daughter, Tully, as a child, but now she comes back, drawn to her daughter’s side at a time when Tully is most alone. At long last, Dorothy must face her darkest fear: Only by revealing the ugly secrets of her past can she hope to become the mother her daughter needs.
A single, tragic choice and a middle-of-the-night phone call will bring these women together and set them on a poignant, powerful journey of redemption. Each has lost her way, and they will need one another–and maybe a miracle–to transform their lives.
An emotionally complex, heart-wrenching novel about love, motherhood, loss, and new beginnings, Fly Away reminds us that where there is life, there is hope, and where there is love, there is forgiveness.
Rating (1-10, 10 is exceptional)
Quality of Writing – 8
Pace – 7
Plot Development – 8
Ending – 8
Characters – 7
Enjoyability – 8
Ease of Reading – 6
Voice Acting – 5
Overall Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Fly Away by Kristin Hannah is a study on grief, following the lives of Tully Hart and the Ryan family after Kate Ryan passes from cancer.
This was an emotional rollercoaster of a book. Everyone grieves in different ways–some people are quiet, some people are loud, and some people are destructive. In Fly Away, everyone grieves Kate’s death differently, and while the family shatters apart, in the end, they manage to pick up the pieces.
Kristin Hannah is an amazing story-teller, and this book is no different. The writing is beautiful, the storyline is heart wrenching and poignant, and the pace is consistent. In these pages you can find happiness, sadness, and hope.
The characters are complex in their grief and actions. Mara was by far my favorite character in the book because her character is the most developed. Mara’s grief is dark. She doesn’t know how to process her mother’s passing, and she makes a lot of bad choices before she learns how to deal with the pain.
I also enjoyed Dorothy Hart’s character. Dorothy was like a bird passing through in Firefly Lane, so I was pleasantly pleased with learning Dorothy’s backstory in Fly Away and understanding why she is the way she is. It’s an interesting story, and her actions in this book really redeem herself in my eyes.
Where this book fell flat isn’t with the book itself but the audiobook execution. It wasn’t always easy to follow the story because it was one narrator orating multiple perspectives. When the perspective changed, there wasn’t always a clear indicator like a chapter change–you just had to listen and pick up on the fact that you were now following another character’s perspective. I also didn’t love the narrator’s voice, especially when she was reading as Tully. Her voice came across as very whiny, like nails on a chalkboard.
That said, this duology is worth the read, but make sure to read it–skip the audiobook! Each book reads as a standalone book, but I would recommend reading them in order.
How many Kristin Hannah books have you read? Which book is your favorite?
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