After the tearful ending of Firefly Lane, I took a day before starting Fly Away. But braved it and dived in.
What it’s about?
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 each 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. Told with her trademark powerful storytelling and illuminating prose, Kristin Hannah reveals why she is one of the most beloved writers of our day.
What I think:
Well this was pretty heartbreaking!
Continuing the story of the Firefly Lane Girls, Fly Away picks up where the previous book ends. Kate has died and her family and friends are coming to terms with their loss.
For Tully, the impact is huge. Not only has she lost her best friend, she has lost her career. Having stepped away from her ratings-winning show, The Girlfriend Hour, to care for Kate, she realises that she has burned bridges that can’t easily be fixed. Without Kate and work, Tully finds herself lonely and anxious and her life quickly spirals out of control.
Marah is also suffering. Her grief and anger are over-whelming and she desperately searches for control of her emotions. When she meets Pax at a group therapy session she feels like he understands her and she walks away from everything she knows.
Kate is very much present in this novel. There is lots of revisiting memories further scenes from the past. For Tullly, in particular Kate is still the voice that she hears guiding her through this traumatic time and the events that follow. It becomes clear to everyone that Kate is the glue that held them altogether.
We find out more about Tully’s background in this book. In Firefly Lane, Cloud is selfish and neglectful. Tully is disappointed time and again by her mother and her seeming unwillingness to love her. Dorothy’s story is absolutely heartbreaking and she became one of my favourite characters.
This book really shows how easily life can change for people. Success and stability are too easily replaced by desperation and addiction. Grief and anger are such powerful emotions.
There is a lot that is pretty miserable and depressing in this book. For the Ryan family, Tully and Dorothy the road to recovery is long and bumpy. While the book ends full.of hope and new beginnings there is still so much more for the characters and a real sense that their lives continue beyond the pages of the novel.
I’ve started watching the Netflix series which is already quite different from the book. I’m really enjoying the way that the past and present versions of Kate and Tully are shown rather than a chronological narrative and its really interesting to see how the story is adapted for television.
The two books have been a really enjoyable read and I am so glad I picked them up.