Saturday, May 19, 2012

Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Title:  Night Road
AuthorKristin Hannah
My Rating: A+

Genre: Women's Fiction
Series: -
Main Characters: Jude, Mia, Lexi and Zach
Release Date: January 2012
ISBN: 9780312364434
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: mild

Story Overview:
For a mother, life comes down to a series of choices. 
To hold on…
To let go..
To forget…
To forgive…
Which road will you take?
                                                            Night Road
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 welcoming 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 her kids leave the house, she worries about them. 
On a hot summer’s night her worst fears come true. 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.

My Review:
I finished this book around six hours ago. Sitting down to write this review, I read the story description and once again teared up. This is such an incredibly good book, but OMG, is it emotional. Bawling, sobbing...this book does it to you. I can't imagine anyone not having that kind of reaction to it, because while the book is wonderful, it is truly heartbreaking.

This book is told from two different Points of View. One is Jude's. She is the overprotective mother to twins, Mia and Zach. She's always been determined to be the mom who could be there for them and their friends. Mia and Zach are twins who are very different. Zach is smart and part of the popular group in school. Mia is shy and a bit of a misfit. Regardless of their differences though, they are twins...two halves of a whole in every sense of the word.

Going into 9th grade, a new girl comes to school, Lexi. After a lifetime of heartache, Lexi has finally found a home with her great aunt. She and Zach have a "moment" in the first class of the day, but at lunchtime, Lexi and Mia form an instant bond like only bff's can. From that moment on, the two of them are inseparable. Mia comes out of her shell with Lexi's support.

Jude and Zach both know that Lexi is an important aspect of Mia's life. And that becomes a worry when Lexi and Zach become romantically involved. They avoided it for three years and can't any longer. All of their lives are completely intertwined which means that when it all falls apart their senior year, everyone crumbles under the grief, pain, and remorse.

I'm trying to write this review without any spoilers which is not as easy as it sounds. For every one of these characters in this book, the world completely collapses during these three's senior year. But the thing is...they all (including mom, Jude) have some blame to accept for what happens. These are human lives and they each make very human mistakes, but because of who Lexi is, she pays for everyone's sins...and she pays dearly. It's heartbreaking.

The book is divided into two parts....before their world fell apart and then 6 years later and it's done brilliantly. It's interesting to me that Kristin chose to tell the story through the mother of the twins and the teenage friend. It's definitely two very different perspectives, but their feelings are so similar as they go through the healing process and learn to forgive. The story is amazing and riveting. The characters are so real. You can't help to get completely swept up into this story. It's a gorgeously written book and it most definitely shattered me emotionally. As a mother of a 17 year old, it terrifies me too. Even though I feel emotionally shredded, I am so glad that I read this amazing book. I read it for The Chick-lits book club and am so ready to start discussing it!

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