Before I begin, yes, this book has major Beaches vibes.
I didn’t grow up watching the movie, so I didn’t have the same mindset going into Firefly Lane, but it is worth noting for anyone who did.
Similarly to Beaches, this is a novel about two best friends, Kate Mularkey and Tully Lane. They meet in the summer of ’74 when Tully moves across the street, and they become best friends after a particularly traumatic experience. While Kate comes from a solid, loving family and dreams of her own marriage, Tully’s mother is sporadic and emotionally abusive. All she wants is to make the world know and love her.
Frankly speaking, this isn’t a book that’s going to change your life. In the reviews I read, it even mentions Hannah’s other books as much higher quality than this. It’s riddled with Lifetime-worthy moments; it relies pretty heavily on a few cliches, and the characters have a frustratingly difficult time evolving. There are points where you’re going guess the plot ahead of time, and you’re probably going to be right.
However, that said, there’s something intensely personal about this novel. The cultural references to the United States during the seventies, eighties, nineties, and early millennium could only be written by someone who had lived through them, and I enjoyed getting a peek into what life must have been like for my own mother. Ultimately, this novel is one of female relationships. It’s also as much a novel about friendship as it is about mother-daughter relationships, and the way Hannah writes about them makes it easy to forgive her more cliched tendencies. Read this book if you’re craving comfort. The way your favorite home-cooked meal feeds your soul, Firefly Lane will do the same.
Travel through the decades and follow the tight bond between quiet Kate Mularkey and fiery Tully Lane. It’s a bond that has lasted them thirty years until one mistake threatens to tear them apart.
“What good did it do to light the world on fire if she had to watch the glow alone?”
“It’s never good to sit around and wait for someone or something to change your life.”
Perfect place to read: Curled up under blankets somewhere overlooking Puget Sound on Bainbridge Island, WA, USA
If this book was a food: It’s your favorite home cooked meal.