Night Road

( 1099 )

Overview

For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children’s needs above her own, and it shows — her twins, Mia and Zach, are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill moves into their small, close-knit community, no one is more welcoming than Jude. Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable.

Jude does everything to keep her kids on track for college and out of harm’s way. It ...

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Night Road

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Overview

For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children’s needs above her own, and it shows — her twins, Mia and Zach, are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill moves into their small, close-knit community, no one is more welcoming than Jude. Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable.

Jude does everything to keep her kids on track for college and out of harm’s way. It has always been easy — until senior year of high school. Suddenly she is at a loss. Nothing feels safe anymore; every time Mia and Zach leave the house, she worries about them.

On a hot summer’s night her worst fears are realized. One decision will change the course of their lives. In the blink of an eye, the Farraday family will be torn apart and Lexi will lose everything. In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forget... or the courage to forgive.

Vivid, universal, and emotionally complex, Night Road raises profound questions about motherhood, identity, love, and forgiveness. It is a luminous, heartbreaking novel that captures both the exquisite pain of loss and the stunning power of hope. This is Kristin Hannah at her very best, telling an unforgettable story about the longing for family, the resilience of the human heart, and the courage it takes to forgive the people we love.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Stay-at-home mom Jude Farraday has reason to be proud. Her teenage twins Mia and Zach are nearing the end of high school years without having swerved off course like many classmates in their small Washington State suburban community. When former foster child Lexi Baill moves into town, Jude watches contentedly as her children befriend her. Before long, the three become inseparable friends and soon thereafter, the inevitable happens: Impressionable Zach falls in love with the new girl in town. It takes just one bad decision, however, to collapse this seemingly idyllic triangle. Can Jude come to terms with that tragedy that changed everything? A poignant follow-up to Hannah's book club favorite (and Barnes & Noble Bestseller) Winter Garden.

Publishers Weekly
Hannah follows up Winter Garden with a strained story of friendship, social pressures, love, and forgiveness. After a string of foster homes and the death of her heroin-addict mother, Lexi Baill is taken in by a newly discovered great-aunt who lives a spartan life near Seattle. Despite financial problems, the two are glad to have found each other, and though Lexi resolves to stay safely on the periphery at her new high school, she soon meets Mia, unhappy and awkward despite a solid family life, a loving twin brother, Zach, and a closetful of clothes. The friendship flourishes, and Mia's mother, Jude, relieved and pleased for her daughter, draws Lexi into the family circle. But trouble begins in senior year with a slowly growing attraction between Zach and Lexi, who take great pains to make Mia comfortable with the change in the dynamics. This familiar story takes an unfortunate turn deep into after-school-special territory when Lexi, Mia, and Zach collectively make a bad decision that results in a tragedy with extreme repercussions. Even readers who like their melodrama thick will have problems as Hannah pushes credibility to the breaking point, and more than once. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"Night Road is one special book that can transform the lives of readers by influencing how they think about certain important life issues. The reader becomes a first-hand witness to the pitfalls of parenthood, mortality, heartbreak, guilt, life choices, grief, forgiveness, and much more. In short, the entire range of human emotions are explored in this...hopeful book about the triumphant power of the human spirit in the process of forgiveness."

New York Journal of Books

"…movingly written and plotted with the heartless skill of a Greek tragedy, you’ll keep turning the pages until the last racking sob."

The Daily Mail

"A rich, multilayered reading experience, and an easy recommendation for book clubs."

Library Journal (starred review)

"Hannah masterfully details the unraveling of a family."

People magazine

"Kristin Hannah is back in top form with Night Road…it will hook Hannah fans from start to suspenseful finish"

The Seattle Times

Library Journal
Hannah (Winter Garden), long a favorite in women's fiction, has written a novel that should propel her onto the book club fiction circuit. Although infused with a tad too much soap opera drama, at its heart is a story about the agonizing choices parents face daily as they try to raise their children to be happy, independent, and well-adjusted adults. Jude is devoted to her two children, twins Zach and Mia. Haunted by a distant relationship with her own mother, she is determined to give her son and daughter every possible opportunity along with an abundance of love and support. Her physician husband, Miles, is supportive but takes a more laid-back approach. Zach is one of the popular kids in high school, Mia not so much. When Mia becomes friends with Lexi, the new girl in school, things begin to look up. Then an unexpected tragedy forces several of the main characters to face a profound and life-changing event. VERDICT Not quite at the level of a Jodi Picoult or Chris Bohjalian story but awfully darn close. Longtime fans will love this rich, multilayered reading experience, and it's an easy recommendation for book clubs. [400,000-copy first printing; national tour; see Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/10.]—Margaret Hanes, Civic Center Lib., Warren, MI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781469297347
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 12/1/2013
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 5.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Kristin Hannah

Kristin Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author of novels including Firefly Lane, 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

Night Road

Behind the Novel

How little I knew about the world, and about parenting. When my son started school, I relaxed a tiny bit. He had made it past the dangerous years—or so I thought. He had learned how to cross the street, to wear a helmet, to ask for help, to stay away from strangers. But how do you keep them safe when the danger comes from within?

Senior year of high school. The Big Year.

I wanted so much for him in that year—to love his classes, do well in his endeavors, ace the SAT, go to the prom, sign his yearbook, pick his college. All of it. I remembered how much fun I had senior year, and I wanted the same for him.

I didn't realize how much the world had changed ... and how much it had stayed the same.

It's been five years now since my son graduated from high school, and those few years have given me a little space. I've gone through the empty nest and come out on the other side. Now, finally, I can look back on that incredibly difficult year and see it for what it was. See me for who I was, and see the mistakes I made along the way. And I made more than a few, believe me.

In retrospect, I think we underestimate the immense pressure our kids are operating under in that last year of high school. We don't realize how much they want to make us proud ... and how much they fear failing. They're ready to fly away from the nest, but they don't really want to test their wings. Everything is dangerous—tests can be suddenly failed, teams can lose, application deadlines can be missed, hearts can be broken.

And then comes spring. The party season.

Believe me, whatever you remember abouthigh school parties hasn't changed. Teen parties still spring up like mushrooms in dark, quiet places, far from adult eyes. Weekend after weekend.

"How could I have been a better mother?"

For me, this became the most challenging time of all. As I said before, I am a person who researches things. I pride myself on my ability to gather knowledge. I don't want to operate in a don't ask/don't tell world. I believe in honesty and transparency. Unfortunately, there's a price to all that honesty. Sometimes your kids tell you what you don't want to hear.

In looking back, I have tried to come up with The Answer. The right way to parent in that stressful, dangerous year. What should I have said about all the pressures he was under? How could I have been a better mother? How should I have dealt with the threat of teen drinking and driving? What's the right answer when the partying starts?

These are the questions that started me out on Night Road. The novel is my exploration of the year that is so pivotal, both to parents and kids.

It was definitely stressful. It was also exciting, exhilarating, and magical. Here's what I didn't know then: Everything I said to my son, he heard. I didn't need to say it twice or underscore it or remind him. He heard it all and took what he needed. In the end, we both grew up and learned that trickiest of skills: how to let go and hold on at the same time.

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Reading Group Guide

For a mother, life comes down to a series of choices. 

To hold on…

To let go..

To forget…

To forgive…

Which road will you take?

                                                            Night Road

For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children’s needs above her own, and it shows—her twins, Mia and Zach—are bright and happy teenagers.  When Lexi Baill moves into their small, close knit community, no one is more welcoming than Jude.  Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, quickly becomes Mia’s best friend.  Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable.   

Jude does everything to keep her kids on track for college and out of harm’s way.  It has always been easy— until senior year of high school.  Suddenly she is at a loss.  Nothing feels safe anymore; every time her kids leave the house, she worries about them. 

On a hot summer’s night her worst fears come true. One decision will change the course of their lives.  In the blink of an eye, the Farraday family will be torn apart and Lexi will lose everything.  In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forget…or the courage to forgive.

Vivid, universal, and emotionally complex, NIGHT ROAD raises profound questions about motherhood, identity, love, and forgiveness.  It is a luminous, heartbreaking novel that captures both the exquisite pain of loss and the stunning power of hope.  This is Kristin Hannah at her very best, telling an unforgettable story about the longing for family, the resilience of the human heart, and the courage it takes to forgive the people we love.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 1099 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(713)

4 Star

(203)

3 Star

(96)

2 Star

(44)

1 Star

(43)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1111 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Best book I've read all year.

    This novel is fantastic! I read it all in one day. It was engaging and completely captivated me until the end.
    It is a story of three teens who become friends and the way life altering decisions warp the future. Lexi is a foster care child who is sent to Western Washington to live with her only known relative after many years in the system. Her great-aunt gives her hope in life and a stable home. She meets Mia and Zach, twins, who become her family after years of being alone. It's a dream come true for Lexi, until one fateful day when one bad decision shatters the world she knows.
    It was heartbreaking, poignant, and beautifully written. This is the first novel I've read by Kristin Hannah but it's so enthralling I will be on the lookout for other stories available.

    48 out of 53 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    night road

    Great weekend read with great plot and likeable characters. LOVED IT!

    23 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 25, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Inspiring and heartfelt.

    NIGHT ROAD is an inspiring, heartfelt story about love, friendship, forbidden love, acceptance, tragedy, anger, loss and ultimately forgiveness. Lexi Baill is a lonely teen in search of a real home with real friends and family.. a place to belong. When she meets Mia Farraday a fellow loner and kindred spirit, she is immediately welcomed into the Farraday family where Jude, the mom, treats her like a second daughter. Tragedy strikes. Everything changes. A life is lost, another destroyed, the family left with regret and despair. The struggle begins. This story is devastating and heartbreaking as it journeys through many thought-provoking, soul-searching levels in their search for healing. Impacting and poignant, this wonderful storyline will leave you counting the days for Hannah's next book launch.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Emotionally charged women's fiction

    Fourteen year old Lexi Baill has bounced between her drug addicted mother and foster care for years. Following her mother's death, a relative is finally located in Washington State. Her elderly Aunt Eva brings her home and provides a stable and loving home for her on the poorer side of this wealthy community.

    On her first day of school Lexi meets Mia Faraday, a vulnerable and insecure girl, and the two quickly become friends. Lexi is soon a part of the Faraday family, welcomed by Mia's parents, Jude and Miles, as well as Mia's twin brother, Zach. Jude had her own difficult childhood growing up and she is determined to be the perfect mother, totally micromanaging her children's lives and guarding them closely.

    NIGHT ROAD follows the high school years of the Faradays and Lexi and the burgeoning love between Lexi and Zach until a bad decision and tragedy shatters all of their lives, severing the bonds of family and friendship. Emotionally complex, this powerful novel deals with the intricacies of family life, parenting, despair, hope and the search for forgiveness with heartbreaking realism.

    I loved this book, but I strongly recommend that you keep the Kleenex handy! Lynn Kimmerle

    10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Spectacular!

    When I first heard of this book a few months back, I just knew I had to read it. The premise sounded amazing, the cover was eye-catching, and Kristin has received plenty of praise. Therefore, when the chance finally came to read Night Road, I jumped right in, devouring it in one long sitting, as Night Road was simply fantastic. Full of likeable and complex characters, star-crossed romance, and tension, this one read had me flipping the pages as fast as humanly possible.

    Night Road tells the story of Lexie Baill and the Farraday family. For Jude Farraday, her whole life has been dedicated to her family- specifically her two twins Zach and Mia. However, while Zach is the king of his grade, Mia has always failed to the wayside. Everything changes when Lexie moves to town during the twin's freshman year of high school, though. Scared yet brave, Lexie quickly finds herself part of the Farraday family- another daughter to Jude, a best friend to Mia, and possibly "something more" to Zach. As the years continue, the bond only grows strong...until one horrific accident. Faced with sudden and bone chilling tragedy, everything changes between them all, landing one in jail and the rest in emotional distress. Will they all be able to begin living again? Will they be able to forget and move on before it is too late to do so? Will everything get worse or better in the end? Only time and more pages will tell in this heart wrenching tale of love, hope, and forgiving as well as moving on.

    Out of everything in this book, I have to say the characters are most likely my favorite aspect. Complex yet loveable, the main characters found in this one where one is who stories caught me from the very first page and kept me until the very last. Specifically, I loved the bonds that developed as the novel progressed. Ones between family, friends, and boyfriends/girlfriends- all were present and in full string. There was the one between Mia, Zach, and Lexie. Complicated as it was, it was easy to see just how much these three loved and adored each other and how far they would go to make the others happy. There was also the one between families, showing how while love is important, sometimes it cannot save everything. However, the thing I loved most about these characters was that they were real. Lexie, Zach, Mia, Jude, and Miles all made mistakes, but they learned from them and improved upon them- even if it did take a long time to do so. More importantly, when faced with tragedy, they grew strong, though in a way that was believable.

    Moving on, another part of Night Road I found enjoyable was the plot and the execution. Full of twists and turns to keep nearly any reader enthralled with the story at hand, I truly never lost interest, not even once. As I was constantly rooting for the characters on their journey's, sitting on the edge of seat, eating up every word, curious to see what road block would pop up next.

    Making everything even better was Kristin Hannah's writing. Hannah is one talented storyteller to say the least. She knows how to balance the sad scenes with the funny scenes. More importantly, she knows how to not only bring the characters to life, but also have the reader become dedicated to their stories.

    Nearly perfect, reading Kristin Hannah's Night Road is the perfect way to spend a day, in my opinion.

    Grade: A+

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2011

    Great book!

    Easy reading that keeps your attention! Love every book that I have read by Kristin Hannah!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2011

    just WOW!

    Its rarely that a book will move me like this one did. I can't stop thinking about it.
    Kristin Hannah is one of my favorite authors and I've read quite a few of her books - Firefly Lane being my favorite before this.
    I found myself laughing, crying, agreeing, and not wanting the book to end. Here characters are believable and human. All their frailties and strengths are laid out just as they are in real life.
    A must read book for anyone who is a mother.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2011

    Emotional!

    Emotional, unforgettable story. Very well-written.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2011

    Highly recommended

    This book was very sad, but it dealt with issues amonng teens and parents that can go soooo wrong in the teen years. The reality of it is overwhelming but beautifully written. I really don't like the mom in this story, as she doesn't own up to her faults or believe that she is the reason why things went so wrong. Unfortunately the reality of this story rings true in a lot of real life situations that cannot be left behind.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2012

    Liked it!

    This book had a LOT of plots twists that will keep you turning pages. I have never cried so much over any other book in my life, and i finished it in one day. Well written, this book will make you laugh, cry, and everything in between. Night road is very eventful and my head was practically spinning by the end because of how many twists and turns the book took you on. I recommend this book for ages 10-100 :).

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2012

    Must read!!!!!

    This was my first Kristen Hannah book... but definately not my last!!! It grabbed me from the very beginning - I read it in a day!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2012

    Best book I've read in a very long time.

    This book is a must read for every mother. I am the mother of a teenage daughter and this book has caused me to rethink the way I've handled some things. I can relate to Jude as I am a helicopter mother and want to protect my kids with everything in me. I really enjoyed this book and will recommend it to everyone!!! Life can change on a dime, let your kids know how much you love them and at the same time allow them to experience independance a little as they grow.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2011

    Night Road...

    A bit difficult to get into though well worth finishing.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Kristen Hanna does it again!

    This book was so touching. It had me reaching for my tissue box many times. I actually couldn't put it down I finished it in one afternoon. I am recommending this to my friends and family I know they will love it as much as I did.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2013

    This is honestly the best book I've read yet! Night Road is a bo

    This is honestly the best book I've read yet! Night Road is a book that will absolutely keep you on the edge of your seat. I've recommended this book countless numbers of people, reading it myself many times over. Originally, I walked right past the book and my boyfriend pulled it down for me, telling me to give it a shot thinking I would enjoy it. Thanks to him, it's my favorite book :) I would absolutely recommend this to anybody!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    Okay but just so sad.

    I've read Kristin's other books and she seems to be so sad. I need a happiness when I read. I did enjoy her writing, though.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2013

    Loved this book and read it in 1 1/2 days. I felt the book was

    Loved this book and read it in 1 1/2 days. I felt the book was well-written and the story line very emotionally griping. There were parts where I was drug into the situation by the writing and not many books have that effect on me. It's a book I won't forget.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2013

    Great read

    I had a very hard time putting it down, a friend told me to read this book. If you not had the chance to read it, please do. I want to get more books by her. Happy reading

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2013

    Not!

    This book dragged on and on and on persecuting a young girl who was nothing but nice to everyone who treated her wrong - especially Jude who, as a mother figure, was worst of all. Then, at the end Jude accepts her and everything is supposed to be all right? Excuse me? Talk about fantasy and unreality, cruelty and down right evil! I can't even give this book a 1/2 rating!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    I absolutely love this book. I have told everyone to start read

    I absolutely love this book. I have told everyone to start reading Kristin Hannah books. I can't put them down. This is my favorite. The emotional impact really hits home. I have told all my teenage daughtes and their friends to read it. It's a good life lesson about drinking and driving. Read it!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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