Friday, March 17, 2017

Firefly Lane

"Firefly Lane" by Kristin Hannah

Read this book before you read "Fly Away". This book is about the beginning of a friendship between two young girls and the paths their lives take.  They swear to be best fiends forever no matter what.  Life takes Tulley on to be a major news reporter and TV show host where Kate finds herself married with three children.  Their lives may be different but they are still each other's best friend through all that life throws at them until one act of betrayal tears apart their friendship.  "Popular just means lots of people think they know you."  I think popular doesn't always mean you have true friends.  "Who your mom is and how she lives her life isn't a reflection of you.  You can make your own choices."  We don't have to let other people's choices define who we are, good or bad.  "That was was a best friend did: hold up a mirror and show you your heart."  "That was the thing about best friends.  Like sisters and mothers, they could piss you off and make you cry and break your heart, but in the end, when the chips were down, they were there, making you laugh even in your darkest hours."  We all need a friend like that.  I enjoyed this story for it's look into friendship and how it can weather the storms of life but I'd still pick "Nightingale" as my favorite of hers.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Fly Away

"Fly Away" by Kristin Hannah

Don't read this one unless you've read "Friefly Lane", I found that out too late.  "Firefly Lane" is the story about two best friends and they're lives growing up, I'll let you know in the next post how it is, I'm reading it now.  "Fly Away" is the continuance of their story after they are grown.  So actually, don't read this post unless you want to know the ending before the beginning.  Best friends Tully and Kate have been friends since they were little.  Tully is a TV star who now with the loss of her best friend due to cancer must figure out how to go on.  Kate's family is falling apart without her and Tully promised to take care of them yet she can't even take care of herself.  Tully's mother abandoned her when she was a child and when Tully needs her most she comes back into her life but will she be accepted?  A tragic night brings everyone back together again where redemption is likely to take place.  "Grief is a sneaky thing, always coming and going like some guest you didn't invite and can't turn away."  Grief is uninvited by all but also experienced by all.  "...but sometimes one person can hold you up in life, keep you standing, and without that hand to hold, you can find yourself free-falling no matter how strong you used to be, no matter how hard you try to remain steady."  "Words stay with you sometimes, especially angry ones."  We can't take back our words by we can make amends with our words by saying we are sorry.  We all say things we regret and we often need to let those words go.  "Why did it take a tragedy to see life clearly?"  Nothing like tragedy to put life into perspective.  "You can't prepare for the shit life throws at you."  It's ture, curveballs come, but what we can do is remember there is a loving God that holds us in His hands.  "There's a river of sadness in me; it's always been there, but now it is rising, spilling over its banks.  I know there's a possibility that if I'm not careful, it will become the biggest part of me and I will drown in it."  Grief feels like drowning often times.  "Sometimes you simply made the wrong choice and you had to I've with it.  You could only change the future."  

Friday, March 3, 2017

Between Sisters

"Between Sisters" by Kristin Hannah

Just another book by Kristin Hannah, I think I've almost read them all now.  This one took me a little more to get into but once I did I enjoyed it.  Kristin does a good job of conveying different women relationships, they can often be so complicated.  This story follows two sisters who have lead two very different lives, one is a high powered divorce attorney and the other runs a camping resort.  They have their past that they share, their druggie mother, but not much else.  When Claire, the younger sister who runs the resort, finally falls in love and starts planning a wedding, the older sister Meghann wants to help.  It will become a choice to put the past behind, find common ground, and be the family they have always wanted.  "Some things just didn't turn out the way you wanted, and a girl could only cry for so many years."  "We can't live other people's lives for them.  Even if we love them."  Oh but how we try.  "Maybe that's why weddings take place in churches-because each one is an act of faith." They truly are, a beautiful act of faith.  A promise that can only be kept with the help of God.  This book wasn't my favorite but was a good read and worth the time.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Things We Do For Love

"The Things We Do For Love" by Kristin Hannah

A story of three sisters from a loud Italian family whose beloved father passes away.  Angela was her father's pride and joy and left their small town for bigger things.  She comes back after his death when her marraige has ended due to the stress of not being able to have children.  Lauren lives with her alcoholic mother and is desperatly trying to make something of her life despite where she comes from.  Fate brings Angela and Lauren together where they fill the void each has carried in their hearts but this connection may just be their undoing.  "She'd focused so much on her own grief that his had become incidental."  I think often we are so hurt that we foget there is another person in the equation and they might be hurting also.  "Memories don't live on streets or in cities.  They flowed in the blood, pulsed with your heartbeat."  We move towns, change schools, leave our jobs all to be rid of memories forgetting that those memories follow us and are a part of us.  "The tears, she now knew, meant hope.  When your eyes dried up, there was none."  "Grief was like that; both she and Mama knew it well.  It would sometimes feel fresh, no matter how long she lived.  Some losses ran deep, and time moved too slowly in a lifetime to heal them completely."  I'm thankful for heaven where our grief will be no more.  "It was easy to love someone when life was uncomplicated."  It's when life throws its curveballs that loving becomes harder.  "Love can get us through the hardest times.  It can also be our hardest times."  "How could love demand so many sacrifices and survive?"  Love is sacrifice and when two people sacrifice it's a love that can't be broken.  "Sometimes your heart got  broken, but you just held on.  That was all there was."  Because love is worth the heartbreak.

Magic Hour

"Magic Hour" by Kristin Hannah

I found another gem by Kristin!  This one is very good.  This book takes you to a very small town in the state of Washington where a girl suddenly appears from the forest.  She doesn't speak and is frightened of everything.  The police cheif, Ellie, needs to find what happened to this girl and where she is from.  She calls on her sister, whom has been a well known psychologist in Seattle, to help the little girl.  Julia has started to doubt her ability to help disturbed children after one of her recent patients does the unthinkable and she wasn't able to see if coming.  She has nothing to lose but she will have to face the ghosts of her past in her home town.  Will Ellie be able to be the town hero?  Will Julia be able to find the confidence to help this child?  Will the sisters be able to put their past behind them to work together?  If you like Kristin Hannah you don't want to miss this one.  "Love rips the shit out of you and puts you back together like a broken toy, with all kinds of cracks and jagged edges.  It's not about the falling in love.  It's about the landing, the staying where you said you'd be and working to keep the love strong."  That's what the hard part is, staying and working on keeping the love strong.  But that is where the reward comes in too.  "Life was impossibly fragile.  If you were lucky enough to have a loving family, you hold on to them with infinite care."  This story is about love lost and love found.  It is about opening up your heart again after loss and not being afraid to love because what is life without love?

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Night Road

"Night Road" by Kristin Hannah

Another good one by Kristin.  I haven't read one of hers yet that I don't like.  This story takes place in a small town, families who know each other, kids growing up together, small community helping one another.  A young girl comes to town to live with her aunt after numerous foster homes.  She isn't like the other kids but none the less gets excepted.  She makes a best friend at school and soon becomes like family.  She falls in love with her best friends twin brother.  She loves this family and would do anything to hurt them until one fateful night of drinking at a party changes everything.  Lexi will lose everything she loved.  Will she ever forget that night?  Will there ever be forgiveness for her?  "The last thing in the world she wanted was to stand here, pretending she wasn't shattered inside, but she couldn't make herself move, either."  Sometimes we are so broken we can't pretend.  "Mostly, she'd learned that some pain simply could neither be cured nor ignored nor healed."  Facing the pain allows the healing.  I believe all pain can heal, doesn't mean it doesn't still hurt, just becomes less hurt I guess.  "What you did isn't the sum total of who you are."  Truth for all of us.  "When you love someone...and you lose them, you can kind of lose yourself, too."  A deep loss that grieves us can make us lose a piece of who we are.  "It was easier to suppress heartache than to overcome it."  "Maybe you need to be broken a little before you can put yourself back together."  The breaking is what puts us back together.  It's in the breaking we find ourselves and that we alone can't fix it.  It's in this place that God can do His work to put us back together again.  "People think love is an act of faith.  Sometimes it's an act of will."  The feelings won't always be there so sometimes it takes just being willing to show love despite the feelings.  "She didn't know how she would correct all the wrong paths she'd taken, but it was time to start undoing her mistakes.  One at a time."  That's where you start, one step at a time, it's never too late.  "She'd known it all along; she'd looked away from it purposely, afraid that the pain would kill her.  But not feeling had taken away her joy, too, left her in that gray haze of numbness."  We often try and suppress the pain because it hurts too much but in doing that we also suppress all our other emotions.  "In the sea of grief, there were islands of grace, moments in time when one could remember what was left rather than all that had been lost."  Grief takes time, we all do it differently but there will come a time where rather than the pain of the loss the  joy of having lived becomes greater.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Summer Island

"Summer Island" by Kristin Hannah

This was my least favorite of hers so far yet it was still a good book, I just liked her others better.  This was also one of her first books that she wrote.  The story follows two sisters and their mother who abandoned them.  Their mother, Nora, has since become famous in radio for her talk show on giving advice in relationships.  The oldest daughter is living the perfect high society life, forgetting her past and doing her best to move on.  The youngest daugher has never forgiven her mother and continues to run and struggle through her life.  An accident and a revealing of their past will bring all three of them together to reveal all that they lost and all that they didn't really know.  Spending a week together in their summer home the past comes back at them full force including the neighbor brothers who happen to be back in town at the same time.  "Motherhood is full of secret worries."  Ain't that the truth!  "I'm your father; she's your mother-whatever she's done or hasn't done, or said or hasn't said-she's a part of you and you're a part of her.  Don't you see that you can't be whole without her?"  I work with foster kids and it doesn't matter how much a child has been hurt by their parent they still love them.  Our parents make up a part of who we are, not all of us, but a part.  "There's no substitute for talking to the people you love.  Thinking about them, dreaming about them, wishing things were different...all of these are the beginning.  But someone has to make the first move."  Be brave, make the first move, you never know where it could lead.