Author: Kristin Hannah
Published: March 22, 2011
Genre: contemporary fiction
Hardcover: 385 pages
Source: purchased from Barnes & Noble
My Rating: 3.5 stars
Synopsis (from GoodReads): 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 safe and on track for college. 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.
My Thoughts: Kristin Hannah is a truly gifted writer, and this novel proves why she is one of the best. Once again focusing on friendships and family, Hannah tells the tale of the Farraday family and Lexi, a teen that comes from a troubled background but always tries to be a good kid. One night changes all of their lives and the small town that they are from. The novel shows how one choice can change so many people's lives and how to live with the consequences of that choice. I thought that this was a slight departure from the other Kristin Hannah novels that I've read, since it's focused more on the outside choices instead of an itnernal drama. It's still centered around a family, but focuses on something that affected the whole town.
I loved the characters in this story. Lexi was such a beautiful young woman and someone who I loved to read about. Her background is harsh and made her a much more believable character. I thought she was well written and seemed like someone who understands how the world works. I loved the Farraday family. Each of them brought something special to the story. As individuals, they were flawed, but together, they made this beautiful family. To me, that's the mark of a Kristin Hannah novel: a flawed group of individuals that, when brought together, made a beautful family.
To me, the only downside of this book is that I had trouble relating with Jude. I could understand the emotions that she felt, but I am not a mother, so to me, it was difficult to relate to her at times. I enjoyed the story and continue to love Kristin Hannah and her work.