Have you ever been so invested in the characters in a story that you’re moved to tears when something profoundly sad happens to them? As a reader, this has happened to me many times. It tends to happen with those books that you can’t bear to put down, the ones where you neglect other responsibilities, like cleaning or work or sleep, in order to continue reading.
Kristen Hannah is one of those authors whose writing draws me in, envelops me in the characters’ lives, and makes me say, Just one more chapter, even when I know I need to get some rest. I fell in love with The Nightingale and The Great Alone, and Firefly Lane was no exception. From the beginning of the book, I was enthralled by the story of TullyandKate (if you’ve read it, you know what I mean), and while they grew up a couple of decades before me, I connected with their struggles and experiences. As I read, I found myself remembering my childhood/adolescent best friend Nicole and our shared experiences. The book, structured in chronological order by decades, as opposed to the Netflix version, which jumps back and forth through time, allows the reader to grow up with the girls, bringing you back to a particular point of time (high school, college, first job, first relationships and heartbreaks, etc.) and the feelings that go along with it. This structure is what made me fall in love with Tully and Kate and connect with them so strongly.
Today I read the final four chapters of the book. I had wanted to read the rest of the book last night, but I’d already read for over an hour, and it was simply too late to read anymore. As I sat at Grumpy Baby, where I’d gone for brunch, I began reading. The world around me fell away, as I was once again sucked into the story of these two women. I won’t spoil it for you, but the end of the book is very sad, and I found myself moved to tears as the characters experienced real trauma and grief. Since I was in a restaurant, I tried to hold it together, but the words on the screen became blurry as my eyes filled with tears.
After I finished eating, I made my way home to read the final two chapters, and in the comfort of my home, sitting on my couch, I cried along with the characters at they endured heartbreak. When it was over, the story lingered, not quite ready to relinquish its hold on me. A fellow slicer wrote today that she had a “book hangover.” I’d say that’s a pretty accurate description for what I had, too.
If you are looking for a good book, I highly recommend reading Firefly Lane!