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Readers' Comments for Fly Away


In April, a select group of readers who participated in one of our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight contests won copies of FLY AWAY by Kristin Hannah. It's the story of three women who have lost their way and need each other --- plus a miracle --- to transform their lives. An emotionally complex, heart-wrenching novel about love, motherhood, loss and new beginnings, this long-awaited follow-up to FIREFLY LANE reminds us that where there is life, there is hope, and where there is love, there is forgiveness. Take a look at some of the readers' comments to give you more insight into this moving novel about love, loss and forgiveness --- and make sure to watch out for SPOILERS!

There are a few authors out there who never disappoint and Kristin Hannah is one of them!  I sat on my deck in the sun and just didn't get up until the last page!

First off, you don't have to have read FIREFLY LANE to enjoy this story --- it stands very well on its own. That being said, it was nice to revisit with some old friends! These are real people, dealing with real problems such as loss, sadness, regret, friendship and motherhood. Like many women, I have a best childhood friend and I'm not sure how I would deal with that loss. I loved the book --- I laughed and cried then laughed and cried some more! Highly recommended!

I had not yet read FIREFLY LANE and the members of my book club insisted that I read it first before reading FLY AWAY. I did just that and am so glad I did.

FLY AWAY is a novel that kept me totally immersed in the storyline and I did not want to put it down. Kristin Hannah did a remarkable job of smoothly intertwining the characters and the multitude of emotions of each. She was able to accurately depict how lives are affected by others, even though a person may not be aware of the impact he or she makes on another.

I believe this novel is an excellent read as a stand-alone novel, for someone who has not read FIREFLY LANE. I would agree with my fellow book club members that having read FIREFLY LANE makes FLY AWAY even more powerful.

Toni --- This comment contains SPOILERS!
This was an excellent book. You fall in love with the characters all over again! The pain that Tully and Kate’s families went through was real. You felt their pain; I cried in parts for them. Raising children together is hard, but in the case of death of a spouse, it is even harder. Tully could not help Marah or the boys or Johnny because of her own pain.

It was so good to also get Dorothy (Cloud)’s story. The pain that parents have is sometimes not known to their children or spouse, and it is very hard to not to judge. Tully and Dorothy's pain was the same and they ended up healing each other. Kate's parents also never gave up on Tully even with the pain of losing their daughter. They helped raise Tully and never gave up on her. Also, the peace that everyone received once Tully came out of the coma and came back to the world was amazing. They all needed that year to heal each other before they could help Tully heal. This book was a perfect ending to the story. I would recommend this book to girlfriends and mothers/daughters. Women truly need others and this story is an example of that. I would describe the book as real --- get ready to laugh, cry and hug each other. Enjoy all the time you have with your friend and mend fences. Forgiveness is is short. It is going to my best girl Maria next, and then it will make the rounds to our daughters...

I was a winner of the new Kristin Hannah book called FLY AWAY. I just finished reading the book and loved it! It is a sequel to her novel FIREFLY LANE, so I would recommend it to anyone who has first read that wonderful novel. It picks up with the characters well. But I would also tell people to be sure they read FIREFLY LANE first or they might be lost in the story. And the story wouldn’t be as meaningful if they hadn’t first read FIREFLY LANE. It’s a wonderful story about friendship and loving our family and friends through happy and painful times. And making sure we say what needs to be said to people while we are here in the present.

I loved FLY AWAY by Kristin Hannah. It is the continuation of the "Tully and Kate" friendship found in her book FIREFLY LANE. Tully and Kate's family must find a way to cope and come together following Kate's death. Relationships unravel and hurt entails because of misunderstandings and overwhelming grief. Tully tries to help Kate's teenage daughter, Marah, find herself and move forward after her mother's death. In her efforts to help, Tully only makes things worse. Tully can't deal with her own hurtful past and loss, including her mother abandoning her, let alone uplift Marah. This book is a story of the strength of friendships and overcoming the deepest hurts. I rate this book five stars and highly recommend it to everyone.

I love this book. It is all about love, guilt, hope and second chances. The continuation of the story started in FIREFLY LANE kept me reading late into the night. I enjoyed every word and thought the ending was just right. Once again, Kristin Hannah has written another hit. Her books never disappoint.

I was one of the fortunate winners in the Women’s Fiction Contest. I just finished reading FLY AWAY by Kristin Hannah. I loved it, even more than FIREFLY LANE. The author did an excellent job at finishing the Tully and Kate story for her readers of FIREFLY LANE. I enjoyed the back story on Cloud, and how her own past prevented her from being the mother that Tully needed. I enjoyed the story being told from different characters’ perspectives. I found the novel to be well written, and there’s a possibility for a sequel to be written in the future. This book was an emotional read and did get somewhat depressing at times. Overall, I loved the book and hope that there will be a follow-up to this story.

Mary G.
William Styron once wrote: "A great book should leave you with many experiences and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading." Kristin Hannah's book FLY AWAY does just that. The story continues on with the life of Tully and how she and Kate's family deal with the loss of Kate. A story of love, courage, secrets and forgiveness. I definitely will pass this on to my book club members.    

Just finished Kristin Hannah's new book, FLY AWAY, the sequel to FIREFLY LANE. It was worth waiting for. I loved every minute I was reading. There are so many quotes, sayings or expressions that the author has in this book, and I wrote them down so I can remember them. This book was so emotional for me; my husband said he never saw me cry so much over a book. The tears were flowing. I am passing the book on to my hair stylist first and then to my daughter. It is a book that mothers and daughters should share. 

I loved FLY AWAY, but I love anything by Kristin Hannah!! The story about how true friendship continues on even after one girlfriend dies really captured my heart. Kristin does a great job of developing characters and situations that we all can relate to. This was a real tear-jerker for me. Once I started reading it, everything else in my house was neglected!!

Kristin Hannah does a wonderful job capturing mother/daughter relationships in her newest book FLY AWAY. On the surface, this book chronicles the devastating grief of those left after the death of a loved one. Yet, as the novel unfolds, I thought the underlying storyline becomes one of abandonment --- specifically being abandoned by a mother through death or the act of desertion. This created emotional depth and greater meaning to the novel. By exploring its consequences and how one copes when faced with such adversity, I began to see how much the characters of Tully, Dorothy and Marah had in common. Dealing with this issue in their own unique way, the characters become symbolic of one another. 

FLY AWAY would be a perfect selection for book groups. Kristin Hannah’s writing technique of deep character point of view provides opportunity for good group discussion. I also want to add it’s not necessary to read FIREFLY LANE in order to enjoyFLY AWAY. I thought the book worked well as a stand-alone. I do anticipate reading FIRELFLY LANE for Tully and Kate’s back story. 

Kristin Hannah’s books always make me cry in a good way! I love her writing --- there’s humor and a wide range of emotions and situations that make me think about what I would do in a similar situation. I find it hard to put down her books because the characters and storylines are so engaging. I’ve read FIREFLY LANE and I was excited to catch up with these characters in FLY AWAY.

FLY AWAY is set in two time periods: right after Kate’s death and four years into the future. We see how Tully and Marah are struggling to cope with Kate’s death. Tully and Marah have an interesting relationship. Tully is Marah’s godmother and she also tries to be her surrogate mother and best friend. Marah is feeling guilty about how she treated Kate and she makes some dangerous choices. We also learn more about Tully’s mother, Cloud/Dorothy. I really liked how FLY AWAY showed the redeeming power of love. These three characters --- Tully, Marah and Dorothy --- have their flaws, but Hannah makes us care about what happens to them. FLY AWAY is also about redemption, mother-daughter relationships and second chances.

I’m recommending this book to my family and friends. Fans of Kristin Hannah will enjoy catching up with these characters.

I finished FLY AWAY last night and the first word that came to my mind was "Wow!"  This book was a hard one for me to read. Having struggled with depression a few times in my life, I could relate to Tully and her mother and even to Marah at times. 

This book would be a hard one to read if you have struggled with mental health issues.  That said, I think it was well worth the tears I shed to stay with it to the end. Kristen Hannah is a talented crafter of tales. The interspersing of dates helped me keep from getting lost in the time travel. 

I will recommend this book to my reading friends. At the top of the list will be those who have lost a loved one. I don't think it will be a good read for those who are still in fresh pain from loss, however. I also think this will be a good read for those who love someone who struggles with mental health issues. My daughter is on medication for bipolar disorder and although hers isn't predominantly depressive, I still could relate to Dorothy's struggles and I thank God that medical science has gotten past the days of ice baths and lobotomy to attempt to treat this roller-coaster life. 

I have not read FIREFLY LANE, but now I will.  

In FLY AWAY, Kristen Hannah takes her readers on a journey through the process of grieving a beloved friend, wife, mother, and daughter while exploring the ways that our life experiences can impact that process. Set in present day Seattle, Tully, Marah, Johnny, Will and Lucas have lost Kate --- a dear friend, mother and wife --- to cancer. Their journey through grief and the pain it brings takes the reader back to the ‘50s and ‘60s, where we learn about the source of Tully's broken relationship with her own mother, as well as to the ‘80s when Kate and Tully forge the bond of friendship that death cannot break. This story addresses the pain of loss and poor choices, and it is also filled with the power of forgiveness and hope and, most of all, love.   

Muriel --- This comment contains SPOILERS!
I've read many of her books and do enjoy them. For the most part, they are not "heavyweight" books, but are well done, with strong character developments and with some good messages.

Before reading FLY AWAY, I reread FIREFLY LANE, which is why it has taken me a while to respond. I loved entering the lives of Tully and Kate in FIREFLY LANE and was quite pleased when Ms. Hannah decided to write a follow-up story. In my life, I have a wonderful woman who has been a best friend of mine since we were 10 years old, that would be 53 years now of friendship. Shirley is like a sister to me.  She is the godparent of our daughter, and I know if something would happen to me and my husband, Shirley and her husband would
step in and be there for my daughter.

Kate and Tully had their ups and downs at times and were two very different people but at the same time had a strong bond. They shared a lot of history together. The same is true for my friend and me. It's hard to imagine going through the loss of a close friend like Tully had to and trying to be strong for the family when you are trying to come to terms with your own grief.

In FLY AWAY, I liked finding out more about Dorothy/Cloud. There is usually a reason why mothers have difficulty bonding with a child. Dorothy's rehabilitation was a bright spot in this book. I was also cheering for Marah to find her way and figure out what was important in life. In general I liked FIREFLY LANE better than FLY AWAY, just because there
was so much sadness and suffering all throughout the second book. I did like the book, however, and wanted to immerse myself in the continuation of their lives.  It was just painful at times.

I liked the way Kristin Hannah allowed Kate to enter the story after her death and be there for Tully when she was trying to come out of the coma. It's a comforting thought to feel your best friend would be there for you even after death.

I would definitely recommend this book to everyone who has read FIREFLY LANE. Even though FLY AWAY can stand on its own, I would tell people to read FIREFLY LANE first. I don't know if a person would truly appreciate the characters as much without reading the other book first. I would especially recommend the books to anyone who has a close friend,
whether of many years or just a few. I guess I would describe the book as a story about the strength and closeness of family and friends. I think Kristin Hannah does a good job writing about family and life situations. She develops her characters well, making the reader want to enter their lives and know more about them.

Cathy --- This comment contains SPOILERS!
Although this book is a sequel to 2008’s FIREFLY LANE, it can be read as a stand-alone since Ms. Hannah provides plenty of flashback material. Having read the first book when it originally came out, I no longer remembered many details concerning Tully and Kate’s friendship and previous story, but that did not matter at all.

This is a complicated story of three generations of women. The center is Tully, whose lifelong best friend, Kate, died from cancer, and who continues to struggle without her four years later. It is a coming-of-age story of Marah, Kate’s daughter and Tully’s goddaughter, who loses her way after her mother’s death, rejecting both her family and Tully. And the book reveals the heartbreaking story of Dorothy, Tully’s long absent mother who did not raise her and whose loss Tully has felt her whole life. 

Ms. Hannah knows how to juggle several storylines, alternating often between the present and the past. This is not my favorite way of telling a story, but I do not mind when the author does it skillfully, as is the case here. In addition, parts of the book require a leap of faith on the reader’s part, since Tully sees and talks to Kate somewhere between heaven and earth while in her coma. I expect many readers will shed a tear (as I did) at the resolution of these scenes, which Ms. Hannah manages beautifully.

I would recommend this book to women who enjoy multilayered women’s fiction, but I would make sure potential readers know upfront that the main characters are not always likeable. They have serious and real problems, including depression, addiction, and physical and mental abuse. The reasons for such problems become clear as the story unfolds to a very optimistic resolution, but not all readers want to take such a journey. I very much enjoyedFLY AWAY and think it is well worth the journey.

I found this book to be well written and easy to read. I enjoyed reading about these characters, although at times it was a little depressing. Also, I wished Ms. Hannah concentrated more on the present and not so much on the flashbacks. This is a story of two childhood best friends and their respective families --- and what happens to the remaining characters when one friend dies.

The first thing that attracted me to this book was the title and the cover illustration. Fireflies were a part of my childhood and the picture on the cover led me to believe this was a story of a time around the ‘40s and ‘50s --- two girls riding bikes and enjoying the freedom that our generation enjoyed.

Once I got into it, I realized that it was taking place in the here and now. I found this book to be spiritual and realistic in dealing with the given situation: death. I am always interested in seeing how difficult situations are handled and how the different players land on their feet. I was not disappointed. There is so much dysfunction in families today and this book addresses that issue. I enjoyed reading this book and could see this happening in real life.

I was disappointed with all the back peddling Kristin Hannah did so you were caught up with FIREFLY LANE, but I understand she wants this to also be a stand-alone book and she had to do this. For someone who had read FIREFLY LANE, though, it wasn't necessary.

I loved that this novel told the inside story of Tully's mom. It really brought new and different feelings, and I enjoyed reading about what can and does happen to a family when something terrible happens to one of its members.

I read the book in three days and had a hard time putting it down. I have asked everyone I know if they have read FIREFLY LANE and I have three friends who are reading it now and then I'll lend my copy of FLY AWAY.

I received the book over a weekend when I was out of town. That following week I received a call that my friend was dying. I spent the weekend with her and at night I started the book, but I could not concentrate. I just couldn't get into it, until the book FIREFLY LANE started to come back to me. My friend’s funeral was on Thursday and when I got home, I sat down and started reading the book and couldn't quit. I was experiencing some of the same feelings Tully, Johnny and Marah were feeling. I felt their pain. I finished the book this morning. A fellow teacher stopped by and she noticed the look on my face and asked if I was okay. I said no, but the book I just finished helped me.

I have never had an experience and a book go so hand in hand at the same time. My friend died of secondary breast cancer. So sad! I am telling stories to remember her and smile like Tully must. Tully has made me realize it is about the living people who need us. I loved this sad, loving, forgiving book. Thank you for letting us know what Cloud's history was.

This is a story of two best friends, Kate and Tully. You will follow Kate's family and best friend as they deal with her death from cancer. You will follow this family and best friend through grief, addiction and mental health issues, as well as dealing with an estranged family unit, friendship, illness and love. If you are looking for a light read, this book is not recommended for you. The issues in this book are very real. While reading this book you may even find yourself emotional at times. I found myself frustrated, worried and even in tears at one point. Don't get me wrong, this is an excellent book and I hope to read more by this author.

I enjoyed the book although it was a bit busy in the beginning trying to bring in the plot of FIREFLY LANE for those who hadn't read it. It was important to do so in order to capture a new audience. It was interesting to see how the family fared and to learn Tully's mother's story. It was rather dark but realistic. As always, Kristin Hannah brought all her characters to life. She is one of my favorite authors.

Penny --- This comment contains SPOILERS!
Since Kristin Hannah is one of my favorite authors, I was really looking forward to reading this book. I loved FIREFLY LANE, also by Kristin Hannah, and this was a sequel to that book.

I would probably recommend this book to anyone who enjoys women's fiction, mostly women of all ages, including young women. While I had read somewhere that this could be a stand-alone book, I'd definitely recommend reading FIREFLY LANE prior to reading FLY AWAY to get the backgrounds on the story and characters. I loved the first book, FIREFLY LANE, but I'm sad to say that I only thought that FLY AWAY was just okay, probably rating it three out of five. There was just too much repetition in FLY AWAY, and it was a pretty depressing book. Maybe because this book was said to be a stand-alone book is the reason for all of the repetition of the relationship and happenings of the the best friends, Tully and Kate. I just found it really confusing to keep repeating stuff and going back to scenes from the ‘70s and ‘80s, which had already been described in the previous book, FIREFLY LANE. This story opens just after the death of Kate, and it seems that nobody is handling the grieving process very well. Her daughter, Marah, became a rebel and a cutter, and Tully, her best friend, became a prescription drug addict and an alcoholic. Her husband just seemed to be angry at Tully for not handling Kate's death and funeral as he thought she should. The best part of this book was the last 100 pages or so when Tully's mother finally tells her story, and how she came to abandon Tully and become a drug addict and an alcoholic, and how she went on to rehab and turned her life around. That was not discussed in FIREFLY LANE. As I said, I'd say this book was okay, but it's definitely not one of my favorite Kristin Hannah books, as FIREFLY LANE was. If the whole book had been as good as the last quarter, I'd probably have a different opinion.