Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Copyright: 2008
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Genre: Fiction
Pages: audio cd/15 disks
Challenges: New Author Challenge, Audio Book Challenge
Author's Website
My rating: 1.5/5

Simple Description:
This is the story of Kate and Tully.  They meet as young teenagers and are together through highschool and college, and even adult hood. This is the story of their friendship.  Tully's Mother has abandoned her many times and she was mostly raised by her Grandma.  Tully has some deep wounds because of this.  She devotes her life to being in the news media  and being rich and famous.  She has decided Kate wants the same thing.

Kate at first feels like she would want that but in college she realizes it's not what she wants.  However she can't tell Tully no, she never can.  She gets swept up with Kate and it takes her awhile to tell her friend it's not what she wants.

Kate also falls for Johnny, a man who is smitten by Tully.  This is something that hangs like a gray cloud over their relationship, even after they are married with kids.

While the two friends aren't always close, Tully is chasing her dream and being a celebrity and Kate is a stay at home Mom of three, they do remain friends.  Until Tully does the unthinkable.

Now what you really want to know....my thoughts:
Ok, so my review might not be the greatest.  Here's the thing..they story itself is good. It's a look at a friendship as it spans they many different life changes people naturally go through as they grow up and age.   The problem is that I hated Tully and Mara.  Tully never thinks about what would be best for Kate and is always doing things that hurt Kate.  She never apologizes either.  Kate lets Tully get away with things every time because it's just how Tully is. Kate rarely stands up for herself.    Mara is Kate's oldest child and is horrible!  She's mean and over-the-top.  I'm not saying some teenagers aren't like that, but really, Mara was hateful and mean.   I couldn't stand either one of these characters and they ruined the book for me.

I have to admit that the story probably wouldn't work if you didn't hate Tully, however I hated her too much to actually enjoy it.   Add to the mix the un-likable character of Mara and the story is just ruined.

I do realize that Tully has some issues she needs to work through with her Mom, but still.  Plenty of people have had crappy parents and been abandoned by one parent or both and they didn't turn out like Tully.  Mara had two parents who loved her and were just looking out for her, she has no excuse.  Tully didn't help Kate with Mara either, but instead normally made things worse.

I've read a lot of reviews and talked to some friends who read this one and enjoyed it, I feel like I'm in the minority by giving this one such a low rating.   I actually finished this one several days ago but waited to write the review so I could muddle through my thoughts.  If I waited and distanced myself from the book, would I still feel so much hatred for Tully and Mara or would it lesson?  It didn't lesson. Every time I think of this book I just bristle.

Audio book review:
I did listen to the audio version of this book and I did think it was well done.  The narrator is Susan Ericksen and she does a wonderful job.


bermudaonion said...

I can enjoy a book even if I don't like the characters, so I'd be willing to give this one a try.

Marce said...

I do think you are in the minority but I think it is great to hear another opinion. This was one of my favourites of 2009, I thought it was executed well with the diff characters.

I understand how you will hate Tully and how that can affect you from enjoying the story.

Great honest opinion. I did love it though.

Kris said...

Bermudaonion - I'm interested to see what you think of this one, if you read it. I have heard great reviews and the story itself is interesting.

Marce - I'm glad you liked this one! I still find it weird that I have such a strong dislike for two of the characters.

Literary Feline said...

I have a copy of this in my TBR collection and imagine I will get to it one of these days. I am sorry it didn't work for you, Kris. I can read a book and not like the characters, but it really depends on the book. It'll be interesting to see which side I fall onto when I do read it--the like or leave it camp.

Kris said...

Literary Feline - you know, usually I don't have this strong of negative reactions for characters, and when I do I'm usually able to get past it and still enjoy this one. This one just effected me weirdly, not sure why it was such a strong emotion. Oh well. I hope you like it more!

diaryofaneccentric said...

Sometimes I can enjoy a book without liking the characters, and sometimes I can't. This book has been sitting on my shelf for ages, and I've yet to read it. I've seen mixed reviews, so I've been a bit hesitant.

Mari said...

I didn't love this book either. I have read a few books by the author after someone told me Hannah is her favorite author. I can't imagine I will read another book by her...

Kris said...

Diary of an Eccentric - I'm interested to see what you think of this, whenever you get to it. At least you won't be going in to it expecting to love it.

Mari - Finally somebody who had similar thoughts! I hate to judge an author by only one book, but I doubt I'll pick up another by this author too.