Sunday, July 14, 2013

Flying wasn't really involved!

Kristin Hannah’s Firefly Lane and Fly Away
Do you appreciate and prefer writing that includes detailed vivid characterization and interpersonal relationships among those characters? 
Then I believe you will truly enjoy these two books by Kristin Hannah!
I received a free copy of Fly Away by Kristin Hannah in exchange for an honest review, however, upon researching that book more thoroughly, I discovered it to be a sequel to Firefly Lane and wanted to read that book first. I ordered a copy from Robots & Rogues, my favorite used bookstore in Lafayette, Indiana, and waited a couple of weeks until I had time to devote to these two books. I am glad I read Firefly Lane first, as it gave me the comprehensive background to better understand Fly Away; I don’t believe I would have appreciated Fly Away nearly as much had I read it as a stand-alone novel. 

I was so enthralled with Firefly Lane I literally stayed up until 4:30AM to complete it after having started reading it the night before! (Fortunately, it was the weekend!) I rarely ever stay up beyond 11PM, but this is now one of my favorite books of all time! What a ride this read was! These characters resonated so strongly with me I cannot adequately describe it in words! Though this book is nearly 500 pages long I never noticed as the words just zipped by! Kate and Tully are so real and flawed, yet with that true blend of good/bad, right/wrong that is reality. 

Hannah captures everything in such vivid detail you are literally carried into their world, an “alternate” universe, if you will! You will recognize yourself in these characters’ actions, behaviors, and thoughts on various occasions as you progress through the story. So many aspects are universal to humanity, especially with regard to female relationships; in so many ways, Kate and Tully created the penultimate accepting and supportive friendship! The text of this picture describes Kate's constant and enduring support of Tully...until...the one unforgivable betrayal. Kate was definitely the glue that seemingly held many people, relationships, and family entities together. I was anxious to see how everyone would cope in Fly Away!

The cover for Fly Away depicts the candles suspended from the tree overhanging the patio at Kate and Johnny’s house. Tully suffers one last heartbreaking betrayal, following on the heels of realization that walking away from her successful career has left no opportunity for re-entry in the future. In the wake of her seemingly suicidal vehicular calamity she is left in a coma. With Johnny unable to deal with his own emotional upheaval, let alone aiding his children in their daily lives, Tully’s condition reignites everyone’s passion for their interconnectedness and motivates them to actively care for each other once again. 

 Central to this revival is Cloud’s rehabilitation and ability to cope with life, and therefore, help to save her daughter’s life in a way she never did as a young mother. While a person’s childhood is never “idyllic,” Cloud’s was beyond hurtful, and there is some understanding and sympathy for her plight as an abused and betrayed child herself. It is heartwarming and poignant to see families finally reunited and functioning in a much more respectful and healthy way. I appreciate the fact that Hannah’s ending is somewhat bittersweet—uplifting overall, but not perfectly “happily ever after.” Hannah's treatment of Kate and Tully's relationship throughout Fly Away is unforgettable and memorable. They are together...forever.

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