Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review: Night Roads by Kristin Hannah


Title: Night Road
Author: Kristin Hannah
Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (March 22, 2011)
ISBN -10: 9780312364427
Pages: 400 pages
Format: audio book



About the Book: (from

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?

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.

NIGHT ROAD is vivid, emotionally complex novel that 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.

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About the Author: (from author’s page)

Image of "Kristin Hannah"Kristin Hannah was born in September 1960 in Southern California and grew up at the beach, making sand castles and playing in the surf. When she was eight years old, her father drove the family to Western Washington which they called home.

After working in a trendy advertising agency, Kristin decided to go to law school. "But you're going to be a writer" are the prophetic words she would never forget from her mother. Kristin was in her third-and final-year of law school and her mom was in the hospital, facing the end of her long battle with cancer. Kristin was shocked to discover that her mother believed she would become a writer. For the next few months, they collaborated on the worst, most clichéd historical romance ever written.

After her mom's death, she packed up all those bits and pieces of paper they'd collected and put them in a box in the back of her closet. Kristin got married and continued practicing law.

Then Kristin found out she was pregnant and was on bed rest for five months. By the time she'd read every book in the house and started asking her husband for cereal boxes to read, she knew she was a goner. That's when her husband reminded her of the book she'd started with her mom. Kristin pulled out the boxes of research material, dusted them off and began writing. By the time their son was born, she'd finished a first draft and found an obsession.

The rejections came, of course, and they stung for a while, but each one really just spurred her to try harder, work more. In 1990, Kristin got "the call," and in that moment, she went from a young mother with a cooler-than-average hobby to a professional writer, and has never looked back. In all the years between then and now, she have never lost her love of, or her enthusiasm for, telling stories. Kristin feels truly blessed to be a wife, a mother, and a writer.

My Review:  I read a number of reviews of Night Roads by Kristin Hannah on various book blogs and decided I needed to read it as well.  I reserved the audio book from my local library.  Previous to reading Night Roads, I had only read one other book by Kristin Hannah.  We read Firefly Lane in my book group last year. 

I found the characters in Night Roads very well developed.  I had strong feelings about a number of the character and could relate to their emotions, fears and heart break.  Night Roads is an emotional roller coaster of a book, which kept me very engaged in the story. 

Night Roads centers on the Farraday family.  Miles and Jude Farraday along with their twins, Mia and Zach are the all American family.   They seemed to have it all, until a single event changes their lives forever.  Of the twins, Mia is shy and struggled socially until she met Lexi Baill.  Mia and Lexi quickly become inseparable.  Lexi is a very resilient teen, having made her way through the foster care system.   Lexi has now found a family in the Farraday family as well as with her Great Aunt Eva.  Her life is finally going well.  Lexi is a very sweet girl with a immense sense of responsibility.  I just loved the person who Lexi was and tried to continue to be.   

I could really relate to Jude, being a parent myself that is a bit over protective.  I remember the worry caused by my children’s teen years.  Jude is a good mother, but her entire identity is tied up in being a mother.  I do remember when my oldest moved out on his own, I thought, now who am I??  I have always been Josh’s mom!  I don’t want to go too much about my feeling towards Jude as it would give too much of the story away.  Jude shows the reader the depths of a mother’s love and the power of forgiveness.  

I was most profoundly struck by how the events of Night Roads could happen to any of us, even me.  Teens don’t think about how the consequences of one decision could change their entire lives forever as well as the lives of many others.  I was satisfied with the ending of Night Roads, but did want to know what happened to the characters I had begun to care so much about in the years to follow.  

My Rating: 4/5 – I really liked Night Roads by Kristin Hannah. I laughed, cried and worried right along with the characters. I drove around the block one more time to hear just a few more minutes of the book. I snuck my headphone on in the middle of the night when I woke up. Night Roads by Kristin Hannah will especially resonate with parents of teens.

Other Bloggers Reviews:

Book’d Out

The Compulsive Reader

Chick Lit + 

A Novel Source

Happy Reading!


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