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  Library Journal Review

Tully Hart is one of the most popular girls in school, though her mother abandons her frequently to her grandmother's care. Kate Mularkey has a stable family life but feels she is an outcast with no friends. Though they couldn't be more different, Kate and Tully become best friends for life in 1974, when they are both in eighth grade and living on Firefly Lane. At the beginning of their 30-year friendship, they set out for careers in journalism, but ultimately their lives take different paths. Kate becomes a stay-at-home mom, while Tully has a glamorous life, first as a television reporter and then as a talk-show host. Both have regrets, but Tully has more and is not beyond appropriating Kate's family, especially her daughter, Marah, when she feels the need. Plot threads include mother-daughter relationships, jealousy, friendship, family, and cultural and social references of the times (clothing brands, rock songs, hairstyles, movies, etc.). The story is overlong and formulaic in places, but Hannah's many fans will not be deterred; they will enjoy the book, with its tearjerker ending. Read competently and unobtrusively by Susan Ericksen, this is recommended for all popular fiction collections.--Mary Knapp, Madison P.L., WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

Hannah limns the depths of female friendship in her new novel, which follows a girlhood bond that matures into an adult one. Tully Hart and Kate Mularkey come from different backgrounds: vivacious Tully has been abandoned by her hippie mother while studious Kate comes from a stable and loving family. After a devastating incident at a party, 14-year-old Tully finds herself confiding in Kate, thus beginning their unlikely friendship. Through dogged determination, ambitious Tully, who longs to be an anchorwoman, manages to secure them both jobs at a small television station after college; but while Tully pursues her dream of being a reporter, Kate falls for their handsome boss. The women's friendship remains strong as Tully fights her way to the top of the journalistic ladder and Kate finds a new purpose in motherhood, until a betrayal and a tragedy threaten their long-standing bond. Covering the 1970s to the new millennium, Hannah's latest is a moving and realistic portrait of a complex and enduring friendship. Expect female readers to flock to this absorbing novel.--Huntley, Kristine Copyright 2007 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

Lifelong, conflicted friendship of two women is the premise of Hannah's maudlin latest (Magic Hour, 2006, etc.), again set in Washington State. Tallulah "Tully" Hart, father unknown, is the daughter of a hippie, Cloud, who makes only intermittent appearances in her life. Tully takes refuge with the family of her "best friend forever," Kate Mularkey, who compares herself unfavorably with Tully, in regards to looks and charisma. In college, "TullyandKate" pledge the same sorority and major in communications. Tully has a life goal for them both: They will become network TV anchorwomen. Tully lands an internship at KCPO-TV in Seattle and finagles a producing job for Kate. Kate no longer wishes to follow Tully into broadcasting and is more drawn to fiction writing, but she hesitates to tell her overbearing friend. Meanwhile a love triangle blooms at KCPO: Hard-bitten, irresistibly handsome, former war correspondent Johnny is clearly smitten with Tully. Expecting rejection, Kate keeps her infatuation with Johnny secret. When Tully lands a reporting job with a Today-like show, her career shifts into hyperdrive. Johnny and Kate had started an affair once Tully moved to Manhattan, and when Kate gets pregnant with daughter Marah, they marry. Kate is content as a stay-at-home mom, but frets about being Johnny's second choice and about her unrealized writing ambitions. Tully becomes Seattle's answer to Oprah. She hires Johnny, which spells riches for him and Kate. But Kate's buttons are fully depressed by pitched battles over slutwear and curfews with teenaged Marah, who idolizes her godmother Tully. In an improbable twist, Tully invites Kate and Marah to resolve their differences on her show, only to blindside Kate by accusing her, on live TV, of overprotecting Marah. The BFFs are sundered. Tully's latest attempt to salvage Cloud fails: The incorrigible, now geriatric hippie absconds once more. Just as Kate develops a spine, she's given some devastating news. Will the friends reconcile before it's too late? Dated sermonizing on career versus motherhood, and conflict driven by characters' willed helplessness, sap this tale of poignancy. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
<p>From the New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah comes a powerful novel of love, loss, and the magic of friendship. . . .</p> <p>In the turbulent summer of 1974, Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the eighth-grade social food chain. Then, to her amazement, the "coolest girl in the world" moves in across the street and wants to be her friend. Tully Hart seems to have it all---beauty, brains, ambition. On the surface they are as opposite as two people can be: Kate, doomed to be forever uncool, with a loving family who mortifies her at every turn. Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, but with a secret that is destroying her. They make a pact to be best friends forever; by summer's end they've become TullyandKate. Inseparable.</p> <p>So begins Kristin Hannah's magnificent new novel. Spanning more than three decades and playing out across the ever-changing face of the Pacific Northwest, Firefly Lane is the poignant, powerful story of two women and the friendship that becomes the bulkhead of their lives.</p> <p>From the beginning, Tully is desperate to prove her worth to the world. Abandoned by her mother at an early age, she longs to be loved unconditionally. In the glittering, big-hair era of the eighties, she looks to men to fill the void in her soul. But in the buttoned-down nineties, it is television news that captivates her. She will follow her own blind ambition to New York and around the globe, finding fame and success . . . and loneliness.</p> <p>Kate knows early on that her life will be nothing special. Throughout college, she pretends to be driven by a need for success, but all she really wants is to fall in love and have children and live an ordinary life. In her own quiet way, Kate is as driven as Tully. What she doesn't know is how being a wife and mother will change her . . . how she'll lose sight of who she once was, and what she once wanted. And how much she'll envy her famous best friend. . . .</p> <p>For thirty years, Tully and Kate buoy each other through life, weathering the storms of friendship---jealousy, anger, hurt, resentment. They think they've survived it all until a single act of betrayal tears them apart . . . and puts their courage and friendship to the ultimate test.</p> <p> Firefly Lane is for anyone who ever drank Boone's Farm apple wine while listening to Abba or Fleetwood Mac. More than a coming-of-age novel, it's the story of a generation of women who were both blessed and cursed by choices. It's about promises and secrets and betrayals. And ultimately, about the one person who really, truly knows you---and knows what has the power to hurt you . . . and heal you. Firefly Lane is a story you'll never forget . . . one you'll want to pass on to your best friend.</p>
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