Firefly Lane

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Overview

From the New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah comes a powerful novel of love, loss, and the magic of friendship. . . .

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 ...

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Firefly Lane

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Overview

From the New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah comes a powerful novel of love, loss, and the magic of friendship. . . .

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.

Firefly Lane is for anyone who ever drank Boone’s Farm apple wine while listening to Abba or Fleetwood Mac. More than a coming-of-age novel, it’s the story of a generation of women who were both blessed and cursed by choices. It’s about promises and secrets and betrayals. And ultimately, about the one person who really, truly knows you—-and knows what has the power to hurt you . . . and heal you. Firefly Lane is a story you’ll never forget . . . one you’ll want to pass on to your best friend.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Hannah (On Mystic Lake) goes a little too far into Lifetime movie territory in her latest, an epic exploration of the complicated terrain between best friends-one who chooses marriage and motherhood while the other opts for career and celebrity. The adventures of poor, ambitious Tully Hart and middle-class romantic Kate Mularkey begin in the 1970s, but don't really get moving until about halfway into the book, when Tully, who claws her way to the heights of broadcast journalism, discovers it's lonely at the top, and Katie, a stay-at-home Seattle housewife, forgets what it's like to be a rebellious teen. What holds the overlong narrative together is the appealing nature of Tully and Katie's devotion to one another even as they are repeatedly tested by jealousy and ambition. Katie's husband, Johnny, is smitten with Tully, and Tully, who is abandoned by her own booze-and-drug-addled mother, relishes the adoration from Katie's daughter, Marah. Hannah takes the easy way out with an over-the-top tear-jerker ending, though her upbeat message of the power of friendship and family will, for some readers, trump even the most contrived plot twists. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Tully Hart is one of the most popular girls in school, though her mother abandons her frequently to her grandmother's care. Kate Mularkey has a stable family life but feels she is an outcast with no friends. Though they couldn't be more different, Kate and Tully become best friends for life in 1974, when they are both in eighth grade and living on Firefly Lane. At the beginning of their 30-year friendship, they set out for careers in journalism, but ultimately their lives take different paths. Kate becomes a stay-at-home mom, while Tully has a glamorous life, first as a television reporter and then as a talk-show host. Both have regrets, but Tully has more and is not beyond appropriating Kate's family, especially her daughter, Marah, when she feels the need. Plot threads include mother-daughter relationships, jealousy, friendship, family, and cultural and social references of the times (clothing brands, rock songs, hairstyles, movies, etc.). The story is overlong and formulaic in places, but Hannah's many fans will not be deterred; they will enjoy the book, with its tearjerker ending. Read competently and unobtrusively by Susan Ericksen, this is recommended for all popular fiction collections.
—Mary Knapp

School Library Journal

Adult/High School -Tully Hart, vulnerable and abandoned by her mother, meets Katie Mularkey in 1974, when they are both in eighth grade. Katie, feeling unpopular and underappreciated, is drawn to dramatic, bold, and beautiful Tully, while Tully is attracted to the loving and stable Mularkey family. After spending many wild and fun times together and sharing their deepest thoughts with one another, they pledge "best friends forever." Readers will follow the friendship for 30 years and will identify with the intense loyalty and unconditional love that Tully, a successful television personality, and Katie, a stay-at-home mom, have for one another. This changes when Tully betrays and humiliates Katie in a way she cannot forgive. Until their reconciliation, they are both bereft and feel the loss of their friendship sorely. Though Tully's character is somewhat shallow and stereotypical, her larger-than-life personality is compelling, and the story flows well. At times melodramatic, this novel about the friendship of the two very different women and its themes of betrayal and reconciliation will keep readers turning the pages. You might want to recommend a box of tissues to go along with this tear-jerking, yet hopeful book.-Jane Ritter, Mill Valley School District, CA

Kirkus Reviews
Lifelong, conflicted friendship of two women is the premise of Hannah's maudlin latest (Magic Hour, 2006, etc.), again set in Washington State. Tallulah "Tully" Hart, father unknown, is the daughter of a hippie, Cloud, who makes only intermittent appearances in her life. Tully takes refuge with the family of her "best friend forever," Kate Mularkey, who compares herself unfavorably with Tully, in regards to looks and charisma. In college, "TullyandKate" pledge the same sorority and major in communications. Tully has a life goal for them both: They will become network TV anchorwomen. Tully lands an internship at KCPO-TV in Seattle and finagles a producing job for Kate. Kate no longer wishes to follow Tully into broadcasting and is more drawn to fiction writing, but she hesitates to tell her overbearing friend. Meanwhile a love triangle blooms at KCPO: Hard-bitten, irresistibly handsome, former war correspondent Johnny is clearly smitten with Tully. Expecting rejection, Kate keeps her infatuation with Johnny secret. When Tully lands a reporting job with a Today-like show, her career shifts into hyperdrive. Johnny and Kate had started an affair once Tully moved to Manhattan, and when Kate gets pregnant with daughter Marah, they marry. Kate is content as a stay-at-home mom, but frets about being Johnny's second choice and about her unrealized writing ambitions. Tully becomes Seattle's answer to Oprah. She hires Johnny, which spells riches for him and Kate. But Kate's buttons are fully depressed by pitched battles over slutwear and curfews with teenaged Marah, who idolizes her godmother Tully. In an improbable twist, Tully invites Kate and Marah to resolve their differences on her show, onlyto blindside Kate by accusing her, on live TV, of overprotecting Marah. The BFFs are sundered. Tully's latest attempt to salvage Cloud fails: The incorrigible, now geriatric hippie absconds once more. Just as Kate develops a spine, she's given some devastating news. Will the friends reconcile before it's too late?Dated sermonizing on career versus motherhood, and conflict driven by characters' willed helplessness, sap this tale of poignancy. First printing of 200,000
From the Publisher
"Hannah's latest is a moving and realistic portrait of a complex and enduring friendship."—Booklist

“Not since Iris Dart’s Beaches, twenty years ago, has there been a story of friendship that endures everything, from girlhood dramas to bitter betrayal, to be the touchstone in two women’s lives. In Firefly Lane, Kristin Hannah creates the most poignant of reunions and an unforgettable story of loyalty and love”— Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean

"A tearjerker that is sure to please the author's many fans."—Library Journal

“With perfect pitch, Kristin Hannah describes the tumult and energy of the 70s and 80s, and on a deeper level takes readers into the heart of a friendship between two women.  Firefly Lane is masterful at the grand sweep and the fine detail.”

—Elin Hilderbrand, author of Barefoot

"This terrific buddy saga about two best girlfriends who survive all sorts of escapades and catastrophes will inevitably provoke comparisons with Iris Dart's 'Beaches,' but the story is all Hannah's own."—The Seattle Times

“No one writes more insightfully about women’s friendships with all of their messy wonder, humor, pain and complexity like Kristin Hannah.  She’s a marvel.”—Susan Elizabeth Phillips, author of Natural Born Charmer

 

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Kristin Hannah

Kristin Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author of novels including Night Road, True Colors, and Winter Garden. She was born in Southern California and moved to Western Washington when she was eight. A former lawyer, Hannah started writing when she was pregnant and on bed rest for five months. Writing soon became an obsession, and she has been at it ever since. She is the mother of one son and lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.

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Read an Excerpt


Firefly Lane


By Hannah, Kristin St. Martin's Press
Copyright © 2008
Hannah, Kristin
All right reserved.


ISBN: 9780312364083

Chapter 1
They used to be called the Firefly Lane girls. That was a long time ago—more than three decades—but just now, as she lay in bed listening to a winter storm raging outside, it seemed like yesterday.
In the past week (unquestionably the worst seven days of her life), she’d lost the ability to distance herself from the memories. Too often lately in her dreams it was 1974; she was a teenager again, coming of age in the shadow of a lost war, riding her bike beside her best friend in a darkness so complete it was like being invisible. The place was relevant only as a reference point, but she remembered it in vivid detail: a meandering ribbon of asphalt bordered on either side by gullies of murky water and hillsides of shaggy grass. Before they met, that road seemed to go nowhere at all; it was just a country lane named after an insect no one had ever seen in this rugged blue and green corner of the world.
Then they saw it through each other’s eyes. When they stood together on the rise of the hill, instead of towering trees and muddy potholes and distant snowy mountains, they saw all the places they would someday go. At night, they sneaked out of their neighboring houses and met on that road. On the banks of the Pilchuck River they smoked stolen cigarettes, cried to the lyrics of “Billy, Don’t Be a Hero,” and told each other everything, stitching their lives together until bysummer’s end no one knew where one girl ended and the other began. They became to everyone who knew them simply TullyandKate, and for more than thirty years that friendship was the bulkhead of their lives: strong, durable, solid. The music might have changed with the decades, but the promises made on Firefly Lane remained.
Best friends forever.
They’d believed it would last, that vow, that someday they’d be old women, sitting in their rocking chairs on a creaking deck, talking about the times of their lives, and laughing.
Now she knew better, of course. For more than a year she’d been telling herself it was okay, that she could go on without a best friend. Sometimes she even believed it.
Then she would hear the music. Their music. “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” “Material Girl.” “Bohemian Rhapsody.” “Purple Rain.” Yesterday, while she’d been shopping, a bad Muzak version of “You’ve Got a Friend” had made her cry, right there next to the radishes.
She eased the covers back and got out of bed, being careful not to waken the man sleeping beside her. For a moment she stood there, staring down at him in the shadowy darkness. Even in sleep, he wore a troubled expression.
She took the phone off its hook and left the bedroom, walking down the quiet hallway toward the deck. There, she stared out at the storm and gathered her courage. As she punched in the familiar numbers, she wondered what she would say to her once-best friend after all these silent months, how she would start. I’ve had a bad week . . . my life is falling apart . . . or simply: I need you.
Across the black and turbulent Sound, the phone rang.  Copyright © 2008 by Kristin Hannah. All rights reserved.


Continues...


Excerpted from Firefly Lane by Hannah, Kristin Copyright © 2008 by Hannah, Kristin. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Reading Group Guide

From the New York Times bestselling author of On Mystic Lake comes a powerful novel of love, loss, and the magic of friendship. . . .

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.

Firefly Lane is for anyone who ever drank Boone’s Farm apple wine while listening to Abba or Fleetwood Mac. More than a coming-of-age novel, it’s the story of a generation of women who were both blessed and cursed by choices. It’s about promises and secrets and betrayals. And ultimately, about the one person who really, truly knows you—-and knows what has the power to hurt you . . . and heal you. Firefly Lane is a story you’ll never forget . . . one you’ll want to pass on to your best friend.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 1693 )
Rating Distribution

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(1084)

4 Star

(350)

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(144)

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(42)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1699 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Firefly Lane

    This is a wonderful book that I COULD NOT put down! It a beautiful story of friendship, but has other relationships including mother-daughter and wife-husband that are complex and fascinating. Hannah does a terrific job presenting 2 of the many different paths women can take in life: wife and mother or career. The characters in her book chose the extremes of these paths and therefore have difficulty combining them. I think that she presents these 2 choices beautifully and almost everyone can relate to these women's struggles and triumphs. And as a mother, her description of motherhood is spot-on! This book has humor, love, loss, laughter, tears.....it has everything. It is the best book I have read in a long time. I truly can't recommend it enough.

    106 out of 112 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2009

    Amazing

    First, I have to admit that I have a weakness for "big books". I love a story that spans years. This book is something special. I finished it several days ago but just can't get it out of my mind.

    I am always reading at least one book but I can't seem to get past this one. I almost feel disloyal to Tully and Kate to just continue reading something else. Crazy, right?

    These girls grew up around the same time I did and perhaps that is why the story was so touching and personal for me. However, I think anyone who has had a "best friend" no matter what age can truly enjoy this story.

    I had never read this author before and I'm looking forward to reading her other books. If they are anywhere as good as this one I'm in for a great treat!

    Read it! Love it!

    57 out of 64 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 11, 2009

    This book may hinder your IQ.

    This book was awful! I hated it so much that it made me angry! The entire novel is cliché. The characters are flat in that they never seem to learn anything or change their behavior, even though they apparently have moments of realizing that they should. The writing is unappealing and weak. I even found 10 typing errors as I read; it made the book seem cheap. The thing that irritated me most was that the main character's mother is referred to as "Mom" or ¿Mrs. M.¿ interchangeably throughout the novel. I couldn't stand reading sentences like "Mom crossed over to the bed," it sounds juvenile. I am an adult give me some adult reading material. I guess I wouldn¿t feel so offended if I had grabbed this novel from the Harlequin section; but I didn¿t. It was sitting there in the literature section as though it deserved to be with classics! I was shocked when I found out that this author has written other books! I guess any tripe can be published these days. The characters come from a fantasy world where having a drugged out mother can be easily offset by grandparents who had good stock. Come on! Does that ever really happen? NO! It doesn¿t. The situations these characters faced just weren¿t credible. I felt that this book actually set women back! The one character uses sex as an antidepressant and the other is too busy feeling sorry that she chose family over career to do anything worth reading about. If you want women¿s issues to be a theme in your novel- please make them realistic and important. The choice between staying home and going to work is a difficult one that all women face at some point. It¿s not something that we choose quickly or a decision we make easily. I just wish it would have been dealt with in a way that I, as a reader, could take seriously. In conclusion, if you want to make yourself dumber, go ahead and read this book. If not, grab something by Margaret Atwood!

    33 out of 97 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2009

    A Real Tearjerker

    I thought the book was very well written. This is my first experience with this author, but it will not be my last. The plot was very well researched and well written. It was a very sad book, but it relates the story of life-long friends - one who puts her friend above herself and the other who thinks only of what she wants and needs, not thinking of how this hurts her friend and family. I was not able to put this book down once I started reading it.

    32 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

    Boring

    I'm shocked by all the positive reviews for this book. I had to quit sometime around their college years, I just found it boring and uninteresting. There was very little character development.

    23 out of 54 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2009

    Disappointing book!

    I bought this book because of all the positive reviews, but I was very disappointed. The story has the potential to be good, but the author loaded it down with so many references to 70's and 80's "stuff" - products, gadgets, songs, hairstyles, shows, etc. It was like she was trying to sell the book by appealing to the nostalgia of those of us born and raised in the same time period as the characters. I also couldn't help feeling that the book was written with the goal of turning it into a made-for-tv movie. The scenes, settings and wardrobe are all there to be plucked by the production team. The characters, while likable at first, never really developed into anything. For me, it was a shallow, completely unsatisfying read.

    19 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2010

    Fantastic

    this was a fantastic book! i loved this book from start to end. a must read book. you will have every emotion in this book and it will keep you on your toes and want to keep reading.

    16 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 4, 2009

    Super cheesy

    I was in the mood for a good, purely entertaining but not thought provoking, girly book...but this was just too painful to read. It felt superficial at best, predictable and again...just overall ugh. I know this was what I was looking for but this one was a little too fluffy.

    14 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A wonderfully touching tale

    When fourteen year old Kate first saw her new neighbor Tully at the bus stop, little did she know this would be the beginning of a life long friendship. Two young girls on the cusp of womanhood, seemingly opposites on the outside, have a lot in common on the inside. Set in the Pacific northwest during the turbulent 70¿s, Tully and Kate¿s burgeoning friendship sets the tone of the book. They will be best friends forever they assure each other. Even through the most trying of times, they are there for each other. Granted, there are bumps along the way, even a betrayal of trust and a little heartache, but whose life journey does not include such hurdles? <BR/><BR/>This is also a wonderful story of mothers and daughters fraught with the joy and angst of their intricate relationships. A story line that explores life¿s hopes and dreams, some shattered, some realized, develops over a span of 30 plus years as Tully and Kate find out who they are and what is really important in life.<BR/><BR/>This is a book I found hard to put down. The story line is excellently written as Hannah brings an emotional depth to the characters that is extremely compelling. The characters are so well developed and plausible, you can¿t help being engaged with them throughout the entire book. Along with Kate and Tully, the peripheral characters greatly enhance the story line,particularly the two girls' mothers. The time frame is described perfectly with all the accoutrements of the day: the music, the dress, the social attitudes. It was like reliving it all over again. All these elements together make for a magical tale, one that will deeply resonate with the reader for a long time. I just loved it! 5*

    14 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    loved this book!!

    i read this book last summer and i really loved it! it made me laugh and cry and everything it was just really good read about friendship! loved how the chapter's were named after songs too i even downloaded a few to my ipod!!

    12 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    Not worth the Paper it's written on

    Talk about pulp fiction. This author appears to have virtually NO writing skills. The books was chosen by our book club -- can't imagine why. It is unoriginal, clumsily written and hackneyed. What a waste of time and paper.

    10 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2009

    Staggeringly Bad

    I finished this book. I don't know how I did it, but I finished.

    Never have I read something so insipid and poorly conceived. Each time I thought it had gotten as transparently silly as it possibly could It took a turn for the worse.

    Relationships and characters are ill conceived and poorly drawn, and any plot to speak of is so ploddingly pointless that it will break your heart.

    Wading through this book most certainly killed off more than a few brain cells but the one positive thing I can say is that it leaves you ravenous for a decent read!

    8 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2009

    Disappointing

    After reading the very positive reviews of Firefly Lane, I bought the book and was excited to dive in. Midway through the book (when the main characters were adults) Tully and Kate became so one dimensional and extreme that I no longer cared about them, their issues and how the story ended. I was very disappointed.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    NICE READ! GET COMFORTABLE!

    It is the story of Kate and Tully, two girls who could not be more different. Kate is a shy girl and does not have any friends. Tully is sophisticated and popular. This is a friendship that lasts for more than thirty years. NICE READ! Get comfortable!

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Enjoyable read

    True to life struggles that we all can relate to; Life's journey of ups and downs, struggle and success, bonds and relationships, all to create an interesting, exciting read. Big thumbs up! You won't be disappointed!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    ONE WORD- FANTASTIC!!

    I read all kinds of novels and this book was a fantastic read. I related to alot of the feelings that were involved in the story and I was pleased with the way the writer created many realistic situations that many of us are faced with in love, marriage, friendship and motherhood. There were many moments that frustrated me, but in the end..it was another great book that I couldn't put down!! This was my first Kristin Hannah novel and I am excited to read more of her books!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    One of my all time favorites!!!

    I loved this book! One of my all time favorites. Kristin Hannah quickly became one of my favorite authors. This was a beautiful story that will make you laugh and make you cry. You won't be able to put it down!! Other great books by her are Winter Garden, Night Road, and Home Front.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    Beach Read

    Good story! Easy read perfect for the beach.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2010

    Any best friend should read this...

    The book is about two people who are so different and become best friends for life. It is about ambition, bonds, broken hearts and anything else you might find in a book. Especially for women in their 50s who have had best friends and know about those unbreakable bonds.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2009

    A great read

    I enjoyed every second of this book. Both of the main characters stole my heart from the beginning and I very much enjoyed following them along their lifelong journey together. I recommend this to everyone.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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