Moved to Tears

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.

My Chai latte and Kindle as I waited for my brunch order at Grumpy Baby.

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!

19 thoughts on “Moved to Tears

  1. amyilene

    It’s been a long time since a book has allowed the rest of the world to fall away, but your words transported me back to that incredible feeling of complete immersion. I haven’t read this, but will find it soon. Thank you for this slice.

  2. Ms Victor Reads

    All the time! I remember once bawling on a train platform as I finished up a book. I have not read Firefly Lane but have watched most of it on Netflix- I hear it is very different, #somanygoodbooks #solittletime

  3. Pam Ela

    I love her books! The Nightingale was my first of hers to read as well. I have Firefly Lane on Audible from a recent sale but am thinking of waiting until the weather is a bit warmer so I can listen while walking.

    Book hangovers— for sure! My strongest one lately was from Kelly Rimmer’s The Things We Cannot Say.

    Isn’t it wonderful to stumble across such powerful stories?

  4. terierrol

    I love Kristen Hannah’s books. I am waiting for a space time to enjoy “Firefly lane”. A book hangover is the only type of hangover I love. Sometimes I just don’t want the book to end, so wil read the last few chapters very slowly.

  5. wordancerblog

    Thanks for this. I’m starting my spring break and was looking for a novel that would catch my attention and take me away. I love the name of the cafe – The Grumpy Baby. How great is that?

  6. Sara T.

    Thank you for the book recommendations. The way you described what the author did for you as the reader completely met my expectations for what I look for in a good book. I am taking notes of all the books by her you recommended. I sadly already watched the show before I knew it was a book. I wonder if I could go back now and read the book too. I hate when you can’t shake the movie version of the character from your head after seeing them on the screen. I have these book hangovers when a series ends. I don’t know how to put one foot in front of the other the next day. I think This is Us has this effect on me too.

    1. aggiekesler Post author

      I don’t know if I even want to continue watching it. I’ve watched the first two episodes, but so much differs from the book that I keep getting frustrated. I think you’ll still like the book!

  7. elsie

    Books that grab your heart then squeeze and squeeze until you can’t breathe until you read to the very end are heart wrenching, but yet so enjoyable. Sometimes we need a good cry to wash away bits of life that lingered in our hearts. Aren’t books wonderful when they can have that effect on you? 🙂

  8. Leigh Anne Eck

    I normally read middle grade because that is the age group I teach, but I have heard so much about this book! Heart fiction is my favorite. When kids ask me about what kind of books I like, I always say books that make me cry! I may have to find this one on spring break!

  9. cbeaulac

    I’ll have to check that one out. You make a good case for it. I read “The Great Alone” and loved it. “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 love these types of books!


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