Thursday, July 11, 2013
It had been a few years since I'd read Firefly Lane, but Kristin Hannah’s follow-up novel Fly Away brought me right back into the lives of Tully Hart and Kate Ryan, best friends since they first met at fourteen years old. While I do think this is a stand-alone book, having read Firefly Lane first will offer a richer understanding of the characters and the intricacies of their relationships.
Life has not been easy for the Ryan family or Tully since Kate Ryan lost her battle with cancer. Fly Away finds us in September, four years later, when Tully crashes her car and lands in the hospital in serious condition. Much of the novel takes place on that one day, as the characters flashback over the last four years and reflect on how they have all come to be at Tully’s bedside. It is dark and difficult at times, but when is the aftermath of the death of a dearly loved wife, mother, and friend not difficult?
At its core, this novel is about trust and forgiveness, and how our pride can get in the way of our own truth. This disparity between the prideful “I’m fine” outward self and the truth of the despair internally is evident, particularly between Tully and Johnny. As I read, I kept returning to a quote I heard years ago: “Don’t compare your inside to someone else’s outside.” What we project to the world is not always our internal truth, and Hannah’s characters all have to come to terms with this throughout the course of the novel.
- Sarah Gardiner