Thursday, September 12, 2013

Firefly Lane by Kristen Hannah

To Cry or Not to Cry (Read ’Em and Weep Week)

Firefly Lane by Kristen Hannah was on our book club suggestion list for a long time now.  So far, it has not been voted in—a matter of too many books, too little time.  But one of my friends in the club said she read it on her own and really liked it.  She said it made her cry.  “Hmmm…” I thought. I wonder if we’re made out of the same stuff? I wonder if it’ll have me weeping like I did with Of Mice and Men?  So, I read it too.  And I must confess, I did NOT cry. Clearly my friend might be a softer, kinder person than I am.  But I did find the book touching.  I enjoyed the story of two very different girls who became lifelong friends.  I felt privileged to be peeking into their relationship, finding out how it developed and continued through to adulthood. 

I also enjoyed the book because the author gives detailed descriptions of time periods I’m familiar with starting with the 70s. When the author talks about “low-rise, three-button jeans with tie-dyed wedges in the seam to make elephant bells” or the Carol Burnett Show, or the fact that the girls looked “foxy,” I was smiling from ear to ear thinking of all those old memories.  What really got me was when she mentioned tanning with baby oil and iodine.  The iodine was a trick we missed somehow, but my sisters, friends, and I would slather ourselves nice and good with the baby oil and lay in the boiling hot Vegas sun frying like fish in a pan.  We’d burn so bad we couldn’t walk upright, wear bras, or be touched for days!  What idiots!  That was us—and Tully and Kate, too.

The book continues through the eighties, nineties, and right into the new century.  While the descriptions of the styles and events of the times are thorough, it’s Tully and Kate’s friendship you’ll end up remembering.  To have a lifelong friend like that is a special thing. Most of us just get busy in our own lives, or move away, or grow apart.  Kate and Tully were there for each other together till the end. Oh sure, there were rough times.  Every relationship has them.  But through and through they were the “TullyandKate” duo.  

I’m curious if those who have read this book have cried or not?  Send me a quick email or leave a comment.  Admit it, are you a softie or do you have a semi-hard shell?

Novels That Made Others Cry:
Moloka’i by Alan Brennert made one of my book club members cry, but it may not be a fair test of her tenderness.  After all, she was pregnant at the time. Hormones were bouncing around her body like a pinball machine. Read the review at

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls made my sister cry. She’s a real animal lover.  Her furry little heart almost broke.  I probably cried too, but that was so long ago I can’t swear to it.

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult made my other sister cry.  I haven’t read it, but I think that one might actually crack my veneer.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck made my mother cry.  It was actually kind of cruel the way we tricked her into reading it.  “It’s a great, short book--a classic! Give it a whirl.  It’ll take you no time to read it,” we told her.  All true. But we didn’t tell her to get her Kleenex ready.  She wasn’t too happy with us at the end of the book, but later she forgave us because, well, it really was a great book. Read a review at

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See also made my mother cry.  She called me long distance and I couldn’t understand a word she was saying, she was sobbing so hard.  Again, she wasn’t so happy with my sisters and me.  But she loved the book (as we all did), and she ended up buying a copy as a gift for her friend’s birthday.  –Yeah happy birthday to you! Hopefully she sent tissues with the book.

Finally, if you still can’t get your fill of good heart-wrenching reads, check out Oprah’s Book Club.  While I pretty much like the books she recommends (the handful that I’ve read), I have to wonder, does Oprah ever read anything light and amusing?  Does she ever have a good laugh?  I hope so.   

Happy Reading,

What about you?  What book made you cry?  Enter a comment or email me at and I will post your answer.

What did you think of this book? Post a comment or email:

1 comment:

  1. Firefly Lane sounds like a must read! I look forward to reading this book. Thank you.

    I must say Where the Red Fern Grows is still my #1 Crying book EVER!!! Just the thought of Dan and Little Ann brings tears to my eyes. This is one I WILL NEVER FORGET!!!