Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Book Review: Fly Away

By Melissa Amster

When Firefly Lane came out a few years ago, I was immediately attracted to it from the cover to the summary to the inside contents. I was taken on an adventure with Kate and Tully, feeling like I had become part of their lives and their friendship in the process. That started me on a Kristin Hannah kick and I couldn't stop reading her novels! So, like many other Firefly Lane fans, I was thrilled to find out that a sequel had been produced, so we could see what happened to all the characters.

Before I go on, I must warn you that the rest of this post contains spoilers for Firefly Lane. If you haven't read it yet and still want to, stop right here....or don't say I didn't warn you.

Not too late to turn back....

So you've chosen to read on....

Four years after Kate's passing, her daughter, Marah, has fallen in with a bad crowd and no matter how hard he tries, her husband doesn't know how to reach her. Her best friend, Tully, has hit rock bottom, becoming a Hollywood cliché. Tully's mother, Cloud, is also trying to find her way out of the mess she has gotten herself into throughout life, so that she can pick up the pieces of her relationship with her daughter. When tragedy strikes, it brings these women together in ways they never thought possible.

Just like all of Kristin Hannah's previous novels that I have read, Fly Away is a page turner from the very beginning. With its trips back and forth in time and shifting perspectives on the same moment, I was drawn back into the world of "TullyandKate," even without Kate being physically present. Kate's absence was such an important piece of the book. It showed how important she was in everyone's lives and how hard it was to move on without her. There was also the "train wreck concept." Tully, Marah and Cloud all made poor choices for their lives and were paying the consequences. It was a bit like watching reality television or a nighttime soap opera. I wanted to shout at them to get their lives together, but also wanted to see if they would be able to turn things around on their own. I think Cloud's story was the most intriguing. It had a V.C. Andrews feel to it, as it was darker and heavier than I was expecting. However, I felt so much sympathy for Cloud and understood what led her to make the choices she did and loved how she found the strength to get her life back together again. Kristin Hannah wrote three very different, but very troubled women so well that I once again felt like I was sitting right next to them, listening to their stories as if it were a counseling session.

There was a "suspension of disbelief" aspect to this novel that I am not quite sure I was all that keen upon. It might work for others, so I don't want to completely discredit it, but it took away some of the realistic feel that I get from Kristin's other novels. I understand why she made the choice to incorporate this aspect, but another part of me wishes there were a different way to go about it. Maybe she did research and there is an aspect of reality to it that I'm just not familiar with. In any case, it didn't keep me from reading this novel any time I had a free moment (or could sneak away from my real life to do so).

Fly Away once more reminds me why I love Kristin Hannah and her novels so much. She really knows how to get into the minds of women with whom she might have absolutely nothing in common, making them seem as real as any of us readers. I already can't wait to see what she'll come up with for her next novel!

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for the book, in exchange for an honest review. Stop by Kristin's interview for a chance to win your own copy. (US only.)

More by Kristin Hannah:


Book Mama said...

This book sounds wonderful. I can't wait to read it. But first I have to read Firefly Lane.

Paydirt in Alaska said...

The novel plays out like an overly-long Lifetime movie of the week, with a predictable ending and far too much exposition. By the time we see Kate's mom indulging in marijuana and claiming that's how she got through the turbulent teen years of her own daughter, I found myself wishing for the end. And, even though I've sobbed through my 5+ showings of Beaches over the years, there were no hankies on this one. You see the emotional blackmail coming, and that just takes something away from the entire story.

Informative URL for Maid Services San Antonio Company said...

Kristin Hannah knocks another one out of the park with this intensely emotional follow up to Firefly Lane. For those who love Hannah and don’t mind a lot of intense drama and pain to get to the HEA, this is a must read.