Firefly Lane, by Kristin Hannah

Firefly LaneFirefly Lane
by Kristin Hannah
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When you were a teenager did you ever feel like a ram of your head against the wall might be more productive than a conversation with your mother? If you are a parent, have you ever felt that way about your child? If so, this novel is for you.

Firefly Lane is a tale of the lifelong friendship between cool, breezy and somewhat broken Tully, daughter of a strung out leftover hippie, abandoned to her grandmother most of the time, and average, suburban Katie. Their friendship is formed accidentally when they become neighbors, but ends up becoming a sustaining force for both girls.

As they grow up, Tully is the one who knows what she wants and pushes everything out of her way to get it, dragging Katie along in her wake, until, finally, Katie ends up with what SHE really wants – a home and family, and loving husband.

Set against the television news industry Katie and Tully’s friendship follows a timeline from the early 1970’s, when they meet, until present day, when Katie has to face a devastating challenge and needs Tully, estranged in recent years, to help get her through.

While Firefly Lane is not, ultimately, a feel-good novel, it is a strong portrayal of women’s friendships, and the characters drawn by author Kristin Hannah are complex and believable.

Goes well with an ice cold glass of lemonade, an Adirondack chair, and a soft cotton blanket.

Virtual Journeys

A friend’s writing about her “bicycle going nowhere” reminded me of the Eowyn Challenge – a virtual walk through Middle Earth to keep you motivated to keep up with daily use of your elliptical or exer-cycle or whatever. Four of us are beginning the journey on Monday, and I’m looking forward to our imaginary, 478 mile, trek from Bag End to Rivendell.

I’m reminded also of a scene from one of my childhood favorites, Little Women in which Jo talks about sewing sheets, and making a tedious task less so by dividing up the seams into continents and talking about the countries and cultures they were likely to meet on a journey through whichever place was being discussed.

The imagination provides not only virtual journeys, but also the “spoonful of sugar” we need to make our own hated activities into fun and games.