Sunday, February 7, 2016

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

One day Tully Hart walks down Firefly Lane and into young Kate's life and nothing will ever be the same.

Tully and Kate become fast-friends, Tully quickly becoming a part of Kate's loving, stable family. Tully herself has struggled with a far-out mother, Cloud, who could never be the parent Tully so desperately wanted. Kate's family provides the love and support Tully has longed for her whole life.

Kate and Tully conquer their teenage years together in the Pacific Northwest, and head on to college together at U of Washington. As their lives continue to unfold, Tully clings to the need to be adored, and Kate provides the stability, friendship, and family Tully long for. Tully pushes Kate out of her comfort zone, helps her to grow into her own person, and always treats her as a sister.

But sometimes those who so desperately crave and need to be the center of attention can suck the life out of those around them. While Tully's public persona grows, her personal life remains stagnant. She still craves the affection and attention of the mother she never had. While she tries to be a friend to Kate, being a girl with no real family makes it hard to watch her best growing hers. For Kate, Tully is the focal point, the beautiful center of attention that Kate could never quite capture; she falls into her shadow at every passing by. Tully showers Kate and her family with gifts and tries to maintain her place in their lives, but slowly Kate begins to pull away. Are the years of friendship draining her? Or is there something more going on in Kate's life? Can a friendship really stretch through all of eternity,?

Several life-changing, heartbreaking events will pepper the last pages of this story and leave the reader left with the heart wrenching realization of what a life of friendship truly means.

Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams

Nineteen-year-old Annabelle comes across a fallen man on her walk along the cliffs of her seaside home one night. It only takes the next ten days to begin the epic love story of a first love set amidst the backdrop of 1930's Europe.

Stefan is a rich Jewish man from Germany hiding out in Monte Carlo; a dangerous thing to be in 1930. Struck by love, he returns to Germany to settle some affairs and swears he will return for Annabelle. But in his absence, Annabelle learns a devastating secret about him.

Heartbroken, she returns to Paris.

There to pick up the pieces is widowed high-ranking German soldier Johann.

The lines between right and wrong are quickly blurring before her eyes.

Soon she discovers that neither are quite what they seem, and she will be faced with making the most difficult of choices.

Annabelle's story will intensify over the next several years, intertwined with the story of her later life in the 1960's in Cocoa Beach, Florida. She'll be torn between these two men and the choices they'll make. But one important part is missing: though we hear reference to her husband and hints along the way, there is not clear picture of the man she ends up with until the very, very end.

This story renews hope that it's never too late to make the right choice, and that some are bound to their fate no matter how they fight against it.