Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Guest Review : Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Author: Kristin Hannah
Publisher/Format: St. Martin's Press (2011), ARC,  400 pages
Characters: Mia, Zach and Jude Farraday, Lexi Baill
Subject: teenage love, disaster, forgiveness
Genre: fiction
Source: Review copy from the publisher

Today, I'm introducing Tracy, one of my avid but very picky readers at the library where I work.  Tracy is a working mom, who often brings her son to the library to pick out books, and who also chooses books for her father to read.  In short, she's a reader and we love to give her something good to occupy her reading time.

I had just picked up my mail one day last month, including this ARC, when Tracy came in, and I was muttering that I didn't know when on earth I was going to have time to read this one. She said "I love Kristin Hannah!  Can I read it first since you don't have time?"  I jokingly said to her that she could but she'd have to write me a review.  She then proceeded to back away, saying, "I don't know how to write a review."  So I made her a deal-- I asked her just to read the book then jot down what she liked about it and what she didn't like.   After all....isn't that what you really want to know so you can decide if you want to read it.  She returned the book a few days ago and handed me an envelope saying  "I did it! I wrote a review, but it's probably not very good..."   I think she was wrong. I think it is (as we say in Maine) spot on. What follows is basically what she gave me, and I think she did a great job, because now I really want to bump this one up on my list of books to read.  Tracy's review:

I loved this book.  Kristin Hannah is one of my favorite authors and this is one of her best.  Each of the characters in the book is very different:

Lexi Baill is a smart teenaged girl who is underprivileged but who tries to do her best with what she is given
Mia Farraday is a shy teenager who has very little confidence and who wears her heart on her sleeve.
Zach Farraday, Mia's twin brother, is the very popular school jock.
Jude Farraday, mother to the twins, gives 150% to her children

When Lexi becomes friends with Mia, Jude is concerned that Mia might once more be betrayed by Lexi as has happened so often in the past with Mia's friendships.  When Lexi and Zach fall in love, they hide their relationship for fear of hurting Mia's feelings.

Jude, ever protective of her children, worries constantly about harm coming to them.  Her deepest fears come true when, one summer evening, the nightmare happens.  Everyone's world is turned upside down. The author gives us a tale of a mother's struggle to forgive, a heart-wrenching tale of betrayal, death, imprisonment, love, respect and courage.  This family could have lived next door to me - they are that believable.  The story tells us that no matter how little one person has and how much more another person has, you have to try to make your own life from what your have.  I would read this book again in a heartbeat.
Tutu will add here that I'm happy Tracy does not include a spoiler because I want to find out exactly for myself what really happened. And I want to thank her for taking the time to give us her thoughts.  As a librarian, it really thrills me to see people expanding their reading horizons and participating in the great world of readers who want to share what they're reading.  I'm happy to say that as Tracy and I have gotten to know each other better, I have a better feel for what she might like to read, and she is more trusting when I say "Here--try this, I think you might like it."


  1. It's always fun when you get an idea of what someone likes to read.

  2. I agree..a nice review Tracy.
    I also loved this book, which surprised me. Not my usualfare.

    BTW, Greetings from Istanbul.
    Sorry, I just love to say that. lol

  3. Congratulations, Tracy, You've written a nicely worded, informative book review that makes me want to try this although it isn't the type of book I normally would read. Thanks, Tina, for giving her the opportunity.


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