Firefly Lane – Review


Kristin Hannah is quickly making her way to the top of my list of favorite authors. Her novels are among the most evocative I have ever read. This book alone made me sob like I was a character in the story myself! When I discovered the Firefly Lane series was becoming a Netflix show in the near future, I decided I had better rush to the library to get my hands on the first book before it’s checked out for the next fifteen years.


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.

I knew from experience Kristin Hannah’s books start slowly for me, but midway through I become fully invested and am unable to put the book down. Firefly Lane was no different in this regard. When starting this novel, I was most impressed by Hannah’s ability to capture the feel of being a child in the 1970s effortlessly. I truly felt as if I was transported to the decade myself through reading. As the story drew on, this was true for each decade the characters found themselves in. I appreciated the realistic touch and the growth the characters showed in each time period. Kate, Tully, and every secondary character felt like a real human, not simply a person in a book. They had legitimate flaws and struggles women of all walks of life could relate to.

Naturally, I found walking in Kate’s shoes more comfortable, being that her life was similar to mine as a stay-at-home mother. Her lifestyle, emotions, and difficulties in life were relatable because they’re all things I face daily. I was fascinated by Kristin Hannah’s ability to weave these two very different women together in such a practical way. Beyond that, the book shows the choices we face as women – children or career? Whether we choose one or both, there will be sacrifices made. We will always wonder if the grass would have been greener on the other side or if we could have done a better job delegating.

There were parts of this story when I absolutely hated Tully. She was selfish and only seemed to care about her own desires, no matter who it hurt, even at the cost of her own friendship at times. She was unable to be introspective and question if she was the problem in the friendship. Yet, Kate was always bowing down to her and apologizing first. It made me feel like beating my head against a wall. Then, I stopped to evaluate the friendships I’ve had in my life and realized most of the friendships I’ve had have felt similarly. No relationship is completely equal because we all come into a partnership with our own strengths and weaknesses. Friendships can’t be perfect because the people in them are flawed. Though I found myself exasperated, I was able to see (and appreciate) the humanity in this story.

Overall, I thought it was beautifully done and an accurate representation of how friendships evolve as we age. It was beautifully written and incredibly emotional. If you’re a fan of the occasional ugly cry, I definitely recommend adding this book to your list.

Rating: 5 stars.

Purchase on Amazon.


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23 Comments Add yours

  1. Jules_Writes says:

    I’ve yet to read any books from this author – I must change that. Lovely review, I will add this to my wishlist 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She is so good! Each book has been a hit for me. All 5 stars with the exception of one that was 4.
      Thanks for reading my review!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love how you talked about this book and how you looked at your own friendships to understand how you interpreted the ones in the book. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we often expect fiction to be perfect and when it’s not it can get frustrating. Comparing this book to real life really helped me get past those annoyances.
      Thanks for reading my review!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review! She is so talented. 👏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! She is. Her books continue to astound me. Each one is amazing.


  4. I love it when an author taps into universal experiences – this sounds great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do too. It brings a feeling of being united to others, despite our differences.
      This was definitely a great read!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This book has been on my shelf for years. Your review convinces me I need to get to it soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so excited to hear that. I definitely recommend it. It was a beautiful story of friendship.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This looks fantastic. I haven’t read any of her books yet but I’ve got a few on my TBR already. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love everything I’ve read by her. If you’re a fan of emotional books, I definitely recommend her. She’s great!!


  7. Oh, this is a new one for me, but it sounds really really good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t recommend it enough. It was a beautiful and realistic story.


    1. Thank you for tagging me!!


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