Monday, September 2, 2013

Book Review: Fly Away

I can't say this was one of my favorite Kristen Hannah books.  I liked Night Road far better.  Still, it was a fairly pleasant reading experience.  I have a recently acquired friend who lost his spouse six years ago and is still fairly grief-stricken.  This book put me in touch with many of the sentiments he must experience on a regular basis.  It is always good to walk a mile in another man's shoes and far better to experience this vicariously, through a book, than having to experience it first hand.

This book follows the aftermath of the death of Kate Ryan.  It reveals how her death impacts the lives of her husband, Johnny, her daughter, Marah, and her best-friend, Tully Hart. I was sucked in by the back cover which promised a "powerful journey of redemption," one of my favorite kinds of journeys to follow.  As their lives implode, they truly do finally find redemption, but it is hard-won and a long journey to get there.  Tully loses her fame and fortune when she walks away from her talk show to be with Kate in her final days.  Marah loses her perspective and follows a path of self-destruction as she deals with the death of her mother.  Johnny shuts out the pain by distancing himself from his wife's best friend and in the process loses his daughter as well.

If you've recently lost a loved one, this might be too raw to read, but if there's some distance between you and grief, this is a tale worth exploring.  Indeed, most of the people who gave the book poor reviews on Amazon did so because they found the book too depressing.  I felt like I was eavesdropping on someone else's life.  The characters were believable and the tale was authentic and real.  It didn't hold me as tightly as other books by Hannah, but it was still a worthwhile read. From reading the reviews, I realize that I should have read Firefly Lane instead, since that book preceded this one in the story line and was, apparently, a more favored book.  Perhaps I will try that as my next Kristin Hannah book.

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