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Inspiring,
Dramatic,
Addictive

6 reviews

Fly Away
by Kristin Hannah

Published: 2013-04-23
Hardcover : 416 pages
22 members reading this now
19 clubs reading this now
14 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 5 of 6 members

Once, a long time ago, I walked down a night-darkened road called Firefly Lane, all alone, on the worst night of my life, and I found a kindred spirit. That was our beginning. More than thirty years ago. TullyandKate. You and me against the world. Best friends forever. But stories end, ...

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Introduction

Once, a long time ago, I walked down a night-darkened road called Firefly Lane, all alone, on the worst night of my life, and I found a kindred spirit. That was our beginning. More than thirty years ago. TullyandKate. You and me against the world. Best friends forever. But stories end, don’t they? You lose the people you love and you have to find a way to go on. . . .

 

Tully Hart has always been larger than life, a woman fueled by big dreams and driven by memories of a painful past. She thinks she can overcome anything until her best friend, Kate Ryan, dies. Tully tries to fulfill her deathbed promise to Kate---to be there for Kate’s children---but Tully knows nothing about family or motherhood or taking care of people.

Sixteen-year-old Marah Ryan is devastated by her mother’s death. Her father, Johnny, strives to hold the family together, but even with his best efforts, Marah becomes unreachable in her grief. Nothing and no one seems to matter to her . . . until she falls in love with a young man who makes her smile again and leads her into his dangerous, shadowy world.

Dorothy Hart---the woman who once called herself Cloud---is at the center of Tully’s tragic past. She repeatedly abandoned her daughter, Tully, as a child, but now she comes back, drawn to her daughter’s side at a time when Tully is most alone. At long last, Dorothy must face her darkest fear: Only by revealing the ugly secrets of her past can she hope to become the mother her daughter needs.

A single, tragic choice and a middle-of-the-night phone call will bring these women together and set them on a poignant, powerful journey of redemption. Each has lost her way, and they will need each one another---and maybe a miracle---to transform their lives.

An emotionally complex, heart-wrenching novel about love, motherhood, loss, and new beginnings, Fly Away reminds us that where there is life, there is hope, and where there is love, there is forgiveness. Told with her trademark powerful storytelling and illuminating prose, Kristin Hannah reveals why she is one of the most beloved writers of our day.

 

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

One

September 2, 2010

10:14 P.M.

She felt a little woozy. It was nice, like being wrapped in a warm-from-the-dryer blanket. But when she came to, and saw where she was, it wasn’t so nice.

She was sitting in a restroom stall, slumped over, with tears drying on her cheeks. How long had she been here? She got slowly to her feet and left the bathroom, pushing her way through the theater’s crowded lobby, ignoring the judgmental looks cast her way by the beautiful people drinking champagne beneath a glittering nineteenth century chandelier. The movie must be over.

Outside, she kicked her ridiculous patent leather pumps into the shadows. In her expensive black nylons, she walked in the spitting rain down the dirty Seattle sidewalk toward home. It was only ten blocks or so. She could make it, and she’d never find a cab this time of night anyway.

As she approached Virginia Street, a bright pink MARTINI BAR sign caught her attention. A few people were clustered together outside the front door, smoking and talking beneath a protective overhang.

Even as she vowed to pass by, she found herself turning, reaching for the door, going inside. She slipped into the dark, crowded interior and headed straight for the long mahogany bar.

“What can I get for you?” asked a thin, artsy-looking man with hair the color of a tangerine and more hardware on his face than Sears carried in the nuts-and-bolts aisle.

“Tequila straight shot,” she said.

She drank the first shot and ordered another. The loud music comforted her. She drank the straight shot and swayed to the beat. All around her people were talking and laughing. It felt a little like she was a part of all that activity.

A man in an expensive Italian suit sidled up beside her. He was tall and obviously fit, with blond hair that had been carefully cut and styled. Banker, probably, or corporate lawyer. Too young for her, of course. He couldn’t be much past thirty-five. How long was he there, trolling for a date, looking for the best-looking woman in the room? One drink, two?

Finally, he turned to her. She could tell by the look in his eyes that he knew who she was, and that small recognition seduced her. “Can I buy you a drink?”

“I don’t know. Can you?” Was she slurring her words? That wasn’t good. And she couldn’t think clearly.

His gaze moved from her face, down to her breasts, and then back to her face. It was a look that stripped past any pretense. “I’d say a drink at the very least.”

“I don’t usually pick up strangers,” she lied. Lately, there were only strangers in her life. Everyone else, everyone who mattered, had forgotten about her. She could really feel that Xanax kicking in now, or was it the tequila?

He touched her chin, a jawline caress that made her shiver. There was a boldness in touching her; no one did that anymore. “I’m Troy,” he said.

She looked up into his blue eyes and felt the weight of her loneliness. When was the last time a man had wanted her?

“I’m Tully Hart,” she said.

“I know.”

He kissed her. He tasted sweet, of some kind of liquor, and of cigarettes. Or maybe pot. She wanted to lose herself in pure physical sensation, to dissolve like a bit of candy.

She wanted to forget everything that had gone wrong with her life, and how it was that she’d ended up in a place like this, alone in a sea of strangers.

“Kiss me again,” she said, hating the pathetic pleading she heard in her voice. It was how she’d sounded as a child, back when she’d been a little girl with her nose pressed to the window, waiting for her mother to return. What’s wrong with me? that little girl had asked anyone who would listen, but there had never been an answer. Tully reached out for him, pulling him close, but even as he kissed her and pressed his body into hers, she felt herself starting to cry, and when her tears started, there was no way to hold them back.

September 3, 2010

2:01 A.M.

Tully was the last person to leave the bar. The doors banged shut behind her; the neon sign hissed and clicked off. It was past two now; the Seattle streets were empty. Hushed.

As she made her way down the slick sidewalk, she was unsteady. A man had kissed her—a stranger—and she’d started to cry.

Pathetic. No wonder he’d backed away.

Rain pelted her, almost overwhelmed her. She thought about stopping, tilting her head back, and drinking it in until she drowned.

That wouldn’t be so bad.

It seemed to take hours to get home. At her condominium building, she pushed past the doorman without making eye contact.

In the elevator, she saw herself in the wall of mirrors.

Oh, God.

She looked terrible. Her auburn hair—in need of coloring—was a bird’s nest, and mascara ran like war paint down her cheeks.

The elevator doors opened and she stepped out into the hallway. Her balance was so off it took forever to get to her door, and four tries to get her key into the lock. By the time she opened the door, she was dizzy and her headache had come back.

Somewhere between the dining room and the living room, she banged into a side table and almost fell. Only a last-minute Hail Mary grab for the sofa saved her. She sank onto the thick, down-filled white cushion with a sigh. The table in front of her was piled high with mail. Bills and magazines.

She slumped back and closed her eyes, thinking what a mess her life had become.

“Damn you, Katie Ryan,” she whispered to the best friend who wasn’t there. This loneliness was unbearable. But her best friend was gone. Dead. That was what had started all of it. Losing Kate. How pitiful was that? Tully had begun to plummet at her best friend’s death and she hadn’t been able to pull out of the dive. “I need you.” Then she screamed it: “I need you!”

Silence.

She let her head fall forward. Did she fall asleep? Maybe …

When she opened her eyes again, she stared, bleary-eyed, at the pile of mail on her coffee table. Junk mail, mostly; catalogs and magazines she didn’t bother to read anymore. She started to look away, but a picture snagged her attention.

She frowned and leaned forward, pushing the mail aside to reveal a Star magazine that lay beneath the pile. There was a small photograph of her face in the upper right corner. Not a good picture, either. Not one to be proud of. Beneath it was written a single, terrible word.

Addict.

She grabbed the magazine in unsteady hands, opened it. Pages fanned one past another until there it was: her picture again.

It was a small story; not even a full page.

THE REAL STORY BEHIND THE RUMORS Aging isn’t easy for any woman in the public eye, but it may be proving especially difficult for Tully Hart, the ex-star of the once-phenom talk show The Girlfriend Hour. Ms. Hart’s goddaughter, Marah Ryan, contacted Star exclusively. Ms. Ryan, 20, confirms that the fifty-year-old Hart has been struggling lately with demons that she’s had all her life. In recent months, Hart has “gained an alarming amount of weight” and been abusing drugs and alcohol, according to Ms. Ryan …

“Oh, my God…”

Marah.

The betrayal hurt so badly she couldn’t breathe. She read the rest of the story and then let the magazine fall from her hands.

The pain she’d been holding at bay for months, years, roared to life, sucking her into the bleakest, loneliest place she’d ever been. For the first time, she couldn’t even imagine crawling out of this pit.

She staggered to her feet, her vision blurred by tears, and reached for her car keys.

She couldnt live like this anymore. view abbreviated excerpt only...

Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

How realistic was Marah's reaction to her mother's death? Was Desmond a realistic character? What was his purpose in the novel?
Was Johnny's behavior typical of a grieving parent?
Did you recognize themes in this book from TV or news coverage, or other media forums, movies, novels, etc.?
by thewanderingjew (see profile) 06/14/13

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Fly Away, Kristin Hannah"by thewanderingjew (see profile) 06/14/13

This book is the second in a series. The first was Firefly Lane. The book stands on its own and does not need to be read as a sequel. It is about self discovery, reconciliation and redemptio... (read more)

 
by stefanieapplegate1 (see profile) 05/23/20

 
  "Fly Away "by LanaK (see profile) 04/24/14

This is a rather sad book but we did have interesting conversations.

 
  "Insightful, heart-warming yet heart wrenching novel"by shanen79 (see profile) 06/18/13

Fly Away is the continuation of Tully and Kate's story from "Firefly Lane". The story focuses on the aftermath of Kate's death on those closest to her and how their lives continue. It focuses on Tully,... (read more)

 
  "If you've read Firefly Lane, this is a must read."by riegerd (see profile) 06/12/13

I loved Firefly Lane. It was a book I passed onto friends and suggested to others to read. When I saw that a follow up was being released, I was overjoyed. I liked the book and thought it wa... (read more)

 
  "Fly Away"by ADMINOFFICER (see profile) 06/03/13

Club really enjoyed this book. Recommend to any book Club.

 
  "Fly Away"by robinpranga (see profile) 05/30/13

While we agreed we loved the prequel to this book, we found this to be too predictable. Maybe if we hadn't read the first one, we would have liked this one better. It was okay but not what I expect from... (read more)

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