Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review: Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Here is a summary of Night Road from Kristin Hannah's website:

For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children’s needs above her own, and it shows—her twins, Mia and Zach—are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill moves into their small, close knit community, no one is more welcoming than Jude. Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable.

Jude does everything to keep her kids on track for college and out of harm’s way. It has always been easy-- until senior year of high school. Suddenly she is at a loss. Nothing feels safe anymore; every time her kids leave the house, she worries about them.

On a hot summer’s night her worst fears come true. One decision will change the course of their lives. In the blink of an eye, the Farraday family will be torn apart and Lexi will lose everything. In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forget…or the courage to forgive.

Vivid, universal, and emotionally complex, Night Road raises profound questions about motherhood, identity, love, and forgiveness. It is a luminous, heartbreaking novel that captures both the exquisite pain of loss and the stunning power of hope. This is Kristin Hannah at her very best, telling an unforgettable story about the longing for family, the resilience of the human heart, and the courage it takes to forgive the people we love.

My Review:
This is only the second Kristin Hannah book that I have read but a few of the ladies in my book club just rave about all of her books.  I really wasn't confident that I was going to enjoy this book as much as I did, as it seemed almost a bit too much like a Young Adult book to me in the beginning.  As we are brought into the lives of high school students and all of the drama that goes along with it, the story took a path for me that was more emotional than I would have expected.

Lexi is a young gal just entering her freshman year of high school, who hasn't been fortunate to live in a household with love overflowing.  Her mother was a victim to her addictions and eventually that would turn fatal.  Now an orphan, Lexi is nervous as she is introduced to an aunt in Washington that is going to take her in.  Lexi is overcome with joy as this woman reaches out to her and offers her a home and a family bond that she has never had the opportunity to experience.

Zach and Mia Farraday have had every opportunity available to them as they have advanced through their school years.  A loving family with a mother who always put their needs ahead of her own and offered them every comfort available.  Growing up as twins Zach and Mia always had a special bond, so even though Mia was never very popular around the kids in school, Zach always let her participate in activities with his friends.  Mia wasn't sure about how this would work out in high school though.

The first day of high school Mia and Lexi find an amazing friendship in each other that will help them through their high school years.  With the strength that they offer to one another they find themselves trying more things and becoming more independent with social activities.  Lexi is also accepted into the Farraday household like a member of the family.  She is grateful for the love that Jude Farraday offers to not only her children, but to herself as well.

One evening during their senior year of high school an accident takes place that will change all of their lives.  As a mother this was a very emotional story for me and I couldn't help but hurt for Jude Farraday as I watched her act out in ways that I knew would only cause harm to herself and everyone that she loved.  As Jude's world as she knows it is shattered, she finds herself on a journey that will take her on a painful path of hurt that will take years for her to find her way back home.

I did enjoy this novel even though it was an emotional rollercoaster ride for me as the tissue box was necessary for a couple of parts of the book.  With themes of relationships, maternal love, first loves, death, and forgiveness, this book will definitely tug at your heartstrings.  I think I will be reading this one with my book club in the next year and I believe it will make a great selection.

My Rating:  4/5

Disclosure:  I received this book from the publisher through the Library Thing early reviewers program in exchange for an honest review.


bermudaonion said...

My sister loves Hannah's work and says the same thing - she really toys with your emotions. Great review!

Marce said...

I have only read 2 also, this and Firefly Lane. Enjoyed both, I look forward to reading more from Kristin Hannah.

This was a very emotional read indeed.

Anna said...

I have Firefly Lane but haven't read it yet. If I like that one, I'll definitely will give this one a try. Enjoyed your review!

DCMetroreader said...

This sounds like a real tear-jerker, but in a good way. Nice review!

Ann Summerville said...

Thanks for the review. I'm always looking for good book club reads.

Anonymous said...

I keep reading raves about this one. Great review :)

France said...

This book is truely amazing.. from the moment i picked it up i never wanted to put it down. I cried hysterically for hours. You fall in love with all the characters immediatley.