A couple years ago, I was introduced to Kristin Hannah's novels at a book club in Massachusetts. While I didn't stay with the book club, Kristin's novels stayed with me. When I found out she had a new book, I immediately requested Night Road from the library.
Lexi's life hasn't been easy. She's been bounced from foster home to foster home and has a lot of bad childhood memories that haunt her. Taken in by an aunt she didn't know she had, Lexi is grateful to have a home, someone to love (and to love in return), and stability for the first time in her life.
Twins Mia and Zach Farraday had a very different upbringing with loving parents, a stable home environment, and a world of opportunities, thanks in part to their mom Jude, who wants to protect her children and afford them every possibility life has to offer.
Zach is popular and outgoing. Mia, not so much. But, after meeting Lexi, on the first day of school, Mia becomes confident and starts taking chances. It isn't long before Lexi becomes a part of the family, as Mia's best friend and Zach's love interest. The three are inseparable.
During senior year, things become complicated. Zach and Mia want more freedom. Jude constantly worries about their safety and often tries to control their lives. Then, a bad decision one summer night changes everything. The Farraday family is transformed forever. Lexi must face every day alone and coping with the loss of life as she knew it.
What follows is a poignant story of grief, forgiveness, responsibility, love, and hope as each character deals with the results of that horrible night.
I've learned with Kristin Hannah books that there will be some life-changing, catastrophic event that will wreak havoc in her characters' lives. I know this, yet I continue to read because she does such an incredible job of creating realistic characters that are easy to love and puts them in situations that happen everyday to everyone. Zach, Mia, and Lexi could easily have been classmates of mine in high school.
I fell hard for these characters. I really did. Especially Mia. And I was so totally heartbroken as I read this book. Still, I couldn't stop reading. I stayed up late, wiping away tears, and hoping for a happy ending as I turned each page.
Night Road completely wrecked me, but gave me a better appreciation for friends, family, and so much more. More than that, the writing impressed me.
This story will haunt me for a long time.
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