Thursday, February 25, 2010

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

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.

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.

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.

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…

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.

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.

This is definitely a book that spans generations of readers. I'm not so young anymore :), but I can imagine my daughter and younger friends reading this and getting as much enjoyment out of it as I did. It's something that all youth (especially girls) go through and somehow come out on the other side.

It also poignantly points out that we all don't want the same thing - and that's okay. Myself, I always wanted to be a Mom. Listening to others growing up in the '60's that just wasn't cool. What about 'YOU'? Well, that's what I want.... to be the best Mom I know how. This is a great read. Can't wait to read more of Kristin Hannah.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

I am so lucky. My daughter got this book as part of a 'HouseParty' and when she was finished with it she passed it on to me. I haven't read Firefly Lane or True Colors yet, but I'm really looking forward to them after reading this.

From the author of the smash-hit bestseller Firefly Lane and True Colors comes a powerful, heartbreaking novel that illuminates the intricate mother-daughter bond and explores the enduring links between the present and the past.

Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard: the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father fails ill, Meredith and Nina find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters. As children, the only connection between them was the Russian fairy tale Anya sometimes told the girls at night. On his deathbed, their father extracts a promise from the women in his life: the fairy tale will be told one last time - and all the way to the end. Thus begins an unexpected journey into the truth of Anya's life in war-torn Leningrad, more than five decades ago. Alternating between the past and present, Meredith and Nina will finally hear the singular, harrowing story of their mother's life, and what they learn is a secret so terrible and terrifying that it will shake the very foundation of their family and change who they believe they are.

This was a great read and brings to point that we really never know where someone else comes from. Sometimes when we think they are hard or rude we need to step back and not take judgement because we don't really know what's going on. This book is all about that. The daughters think their mother is a cold hearted person that never loved them. When they learn her true story it all comes into focus for them all. Great book, you won't be able to put it down.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Breaking the Rules by Barbara Taylor Bradford

She is a top supermodel, one of the world's most beautiful women. Men love her. Women adore her. So why is someone trying to kill her? Barbara Taylor Bradford's latest blockbuster is the gripping story of courage and revenge, love and passion, treachery and triumph. Following a terrifying encounter in the quiet English countryside, a young woman flees to New York in search of a new life. Adopting the initial M as her name, and reinventing herself, she embarks on a journey that will lead her to the catwalks of Paris, where she becomes the muse and star model to France's iconic designer Jean-Louis Tremont. When M meets the charming and handsome actor Larry Vaughan in New York, they fall instantly in love and marry. Soon, they become the most desired couple on the International scene, appearing on the cover of celebrity magazines, adored by millions. With a successful career and a happy marriage, M believes she has truly put the demons of her past behind her. But M's fortunes are about to take another dramatic twist. A series of bizarre events turn out not to be accidents at all, but assaults on M and her family. The dark figure from M's past, a psychopath with deadly intent, has made a vow: to shatter M's world forever. But M also makes a vow: she will do everything to keep them all safe. When those you love are threatened and at risk, there's nothing you won't do to protect them... you'll even resort to breaking the rules! Moving from New York to the chic fashion capitals of London and Paris, to the exotic locations of Istanbul and Hong Kong, this new tale from a renowned storyteller is a genuine page-turner.

After a horrific incident M runs off from friends and family to reinvent herself (who wouldn't want to do that). Starting by making one friend she finds a place to rent with his girlfriend. She lives under a lucky star and with her natural born beauty and class she's on her way.

Upon reaching heights she has only dreamed of her past comes back to haunt her. Reunited with her famiily she is finally able to confront the past and overcome the family adversity. Good read.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Secret Promise

So has anyone read "The Secret"? It's a very interesting book on how to live your life to achieve all your goals and happiness. I've been cleaning and I found this paper that is:

The Secret
I promise myself
To be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person I meet.
To make all my friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make my optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of
others as I am about my own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the
greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile
to every living creature I meet.
To give so much time to improving myself that I
have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
To think well of myself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words, but in great deeds.
To live the faith that the whole world is on my side,
so long as I am true to the best that is in me.
Christian D. Larson

Great words to live by.