Review: Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Night RoadReviewer: Valerie

Night Road by Kristin Hannah
Release Date: March 22nd, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Page Count: 400
Source: Hardcover copy provided by SheKnows Book Club for review

Blurb: 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 welcomi 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 Mia and Zach leave the house, she worries about them.

On a hot summer’s night her worst fears are realized. 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.

Advice: A definite read…have the Kleenex handy.

Review: Sometimes a story just pulls at you as you read it and you feel so much emotion for the characters that you can’t help but be in THE story. This is definitely one of those reads! When I started reading, I enjoyed the introduction to the characters, especially the light-hearted banter between a brother and sister and a developing lifetime friendship between two friends. Lexi, who I grew to love, is a young girl that has been bounced around in the foster system and has finally found a place where she BELONGS.

The girl she befriends, Mia, has a wonderful, loving, fun family – including a twin brother that Lexi can’t take her eyes off of. But, Lexi has a strong moral obligation to her friendship first, guys second.

As the story continues, the pace picks up from the lazy days of summer to the frantic months of their senior year. Ever watchful, Jude, the “madre” of the twins, repeatedly warns them all to avoid the dangers and pitfalls of partying which the teens heed with a grain of salt. The closer the three get to graduation, you can feel the suspense building. Yet, even when you think you know what’s going to happen, and it does – you’re not prepared. Even when it’s happening, you’re shocked. The tears will flow and you will not be able to put the book down or get the story out of your mind.

Besides grief and anger at a senseless tragedy, everyone’s lives are changed in ways they could have never imagined, in ways I never even considered. How do you pay for a death? What exactly does it mean to be a parent? What does it mean to be an adult? What happens when you simply can’t reach the ones you love, emotionally or physically? The story of how a shattered family continues and a young girl survives, despite the odds, is a story that will appeal to all ages, from teens to adults. The sincerity of the story was real, relevant, and pulled all my heartstrings.

Quote: “Oh, they talked about staying in touch and keeping their lives braided together, and their intentions would be as true as their emotions, but it wouldn’t be enough.”  Page 118

Rating:

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We have a contest! Valerie has been generous enough to offer her hardcover copy of Night Road to one lucky commenter. To enter the giveaway, comment below, including your email address, telling us why you want to read this book, or what you liked about Valerie’s review. Giveaway ends May 31st and is open to US residents only.