Book Review: Night Road

The last book I picked to listen to on tape was Night Road, by Kristin Hannah. 

books

I have read quite a few of her books and I thoroughly enjoy them.  When I saw this one at the library, I couldn’t resist! I have a problem where I don’t always read the information about the book, I just select it and start reading…which I did with this book. I had no idea what it was about, but I was very confident in Kristin’s work as I have greatly enjoyed books in the past (including Firefly Lane, The Things We Do for LoveDistant Shores…)

Plot:

The story involves a tale of a young girl, Lexi Baill, troubled with heartache and struggles with her drug addicted mother.  Lexi suffers through tragic events her entire life, and ends up going to live with an aunt she has never met.  The aunt lives in the poor end of town but works hard to find her a position in a school system nearby which is academically stellar but is filled with the rich kids.

On her first day of school, Lexi is introduced to Mia Farraday, a lonely unpopular teenager who constantly lives in the shadows of her twin brother, Zach Farraday. The three teenagers fell into a quick close friendship that develops into love between Lexi and Zach, leaving a lot of complication as Mia becomes the third wheel.  Kristin Hannah outlines the struggles of teenagers as they suffer with first loves, grades, college applications, and under-age drinking.

While Lexi, Mia, and Zach are main characters in this novel, the majority of the story explores the life of Jude Farraday, the mother of Mia and Zach.  Jude is a loving and involved mother who holds control over most activities of her children’s lives.  The entire book changes to focus on the grief of Jude after a tragic car accident injuring one of her children and killing the other.  Jude falls into a deep amount of depression, grief, and sense of loss which translates into an inability to be a proper wife, mother, and grandmother.

The book is about young love, loss, guilt, justice, grief, acceptance, peace, and reuniting. Most importantly, this book is about family.

Main Characters:

Jude Farraday – Jude is a loving and involved mother. She is on top of all of her children’s school activities, friends, and their academic success. She volunteers at school, she has dinner ready every night, and works very hard to mange the home her physician husband has provided.  She knows the “ins” and “outs” of her kids social, personal, and academic lives.

She has a troubled relationship with her own mother which stemmed from the grief and separation that occurred after her father passed away when she was a young child.  She routinely meets with her mother every month to spend “forced time” with her and her mother.

Jude falls into deep depression following the loss of one of her children.  She can’t eat, sleep, cook, clean, drive, garden….do anything that she was accustomed to.  Her intense grief develops into a strained relationship with her kid, her husband, and Lexi.

Lexi Baill – Lexi has had a troubled childhood.  She lived with her drug-addict mother while she was in her clean phases and saw much more than a young child should…. including the death of her mom from drugs.  Lexi moved in and out of foster homes her whole life and struggled with the attachment and separation that occurred each time.  She was very pleased but skeptical when contact was made with her great Aunt Eva, who decided to adopt her and take her into her family.

Lexi is a very well-behaved young girl.  She is very respectful, hard-working and puts life in perspective based on her life experiences.  She falls madly in love with Zach Farraday – a guy who would normally be “out of reach” as he’s the hot and popular guy in school.

Lexi makes a terrible mistake at the end of her senior year, resulting in an extended stay in prison – something that would never be expected.  She claimed guilty to manslaughter after a drunk driving accident on Night Road, killing one of the Farraday children.  The stay in prison resulted in many surprises, hard times, and reflection.

Mia Farraday – Mia is a sweet, youthful teenager living in a fairyland.  Throughout the book, she develops from an innocent young girl to a beautiful teenager.  She has such an awkward few years in the beginning of the book. But, throughout the book, we follow her transition from awkward, dependent, and innocent to strong, intelligent, and happy.  Mia constantly lives in the shadows of her older brother but has such as deep seeded connection with him that is so unique and adorable for twins.

Zach Farraday – Zach is the popular kid in school – the good looking, athletic kid that every girl wants to date and every guy wants to be.  Zach has an active social life that, in the beginning of the book, revolves around everyone but Mia and Lexi.  Yet, he eventually decides to act on his love for Lexi which leads to a profound change for all 3 teens. Throughout the book, Zach develops from this “macho” kid to a soft, driven, loving kid who takes on so much more than many thought he could handle.

Recommendation:

I give this book a 3.74/5 for my recommendation.

I was highly intrigued with this book. The interesting thing about listening to books on tape is that I find myself sitting in parking lots a little longer finishing a chapter….and that was absolutely the case with this book.

There were a lot of twists and turns in this book and I am trying really hard not to give them away through my review – but I want to still give my thoughts and opinions!

I think the book was well written, but I think it was a little sloppy at times.  Kristin does an excellent job developing the characters throughout the book. An extensive amount of time passes throughout this novel and Hannah does an excellent job of showing the changes in the characters. They are so relate-able and almost tangible.

The ending of the book kinda made me say “eh”. It was really good, but kind of expected, which made me pretty disappointed as I was so intrigued through the rest of the book. However, I did get the “feel good” feelings once it ended (which equaled out the tears I shed throughout the rest of the book).

I really do recommend this book – it’s a good, easy, intriguing read.

Book Information:

Title: Night Road

Author: Kristin Hanna

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, 2012

ISBN: 0312364431

Length: 432 pages

Subjects: Fiction, Contemporary Women

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Night Road

  1. Haha I love that you sit in parking lots a little longer. I sometimes feel strange sitting in the driveway for a few minutes when I get home, but no one else seems to mind. I don’t even hate getting stuck in traffic as much as I used to!

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