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1-Page Summary of Firefly Lane

Overall Summary

Firefly Lane is a novel written by Kristin Hannah, who has written 20 novels. This novel takes place in the 1970s and tells the story of two women whose 30-year friendship becomes a stabilizing force in their lives.

Firefly Lane tells the story of two best friends, Kate and Tully. The narrative begins in 1974 when they were both eighth grade students. They met at that time, and their relationship lasted for more than three decades.

Tully moves to Firefly Lane with her mother, Cloud. Cloud is a drug addict and has abandoned Tully in the past. She must take care of her mother now, which causes problems for Tully at school because she’s not as involved with school activities anymore. At a party one night, she gets raped by someone she knew from high school. Her only friend during this time is Kate Mularkey who lives across the street from her grandmother’s house where they live after moving out of their apartment on Firefly Lane. Although they are friends throughout high school via letters and phone calls, when Gran dies (Tully’s grandmother), Tully moves back into the house on Firefly Lane to finish high school with Kate and her family.

Tully and Kate go to college together. Tully focuses on becoming a journalist, taking advanced classes and sending resumes all over. Kate finds that her interests lie less in journalism and more in writing, or even settling down with someone she loves. She gets a job at the local television station where Tully works as an intern. They both fall for their boss Johnny Ryan who is also interested in Tully but not Kate because he doesn’t know about her feelings for him yet.

After Tully is shot while live broadcasting a robbery in progress, she starts to move up the journalistic ladder. With Tully out of the office, Kate reveals her feelings to Johnny and pursues a relationship with him. After they get married and have children together, both women find that they want something more or need something more from their lives.

Tully tries to find her mother, Cloud. She films the process and posts it on YouTube. The video is popular, so Tully decides to start a show in Seattle with Johnny as her producer if she can be near Kate again. Her presence creates tension between Kate and Marah because they both idolize Tully.

As Marah and Kate’s relationship grows more strained, Tully (a producer) invites Kate to a live show in order to repair their friendship. However, the event does not go as planned and they end up arguing on air. Johnny quits as Tully’s producer and their 30-year friendship is ruined. In the aftermath of this incident, both Kate and Tully mourn what was lost but neither person wants an apology from the other.

After Kate is diagnosed with breast cancer, she reaches out to Tully. However, Tully is in Antarctica covering a story and doesn’t respond for several months. Once she returns to the United States and hears of her friend’s illness, Tully immediately goes to visit her at the hospital. She stays by Kate’s side throughout all of her treatments and comforts her when she knows that time is running out. After Kate passes away, Tully realizes how much love was exchanged between them during their friendship.

Chapter 1

A few years ago, Kate and Tully were best friends. They had a great friendship that lasted 30 years. Recently, they haven’t been as close as they used to be. Kate gets out of bed and calls Tully because she wants to talk about their relationship.

Chapter 2

It is 1970, and Tully Hart sits in her grandparents’ house quietly playing while the country is in upheaval. Her grandmother sits silently in her rocking chair doing needlework. She is a peaceful woman who has been through a lot of hardship, including having suffered a stroke. A knock at the door shatters this scene—Tully’s mother enters. Dorothy has not seen Tully since she was four years old; now she wants to take back custody of her daughter after six years away from home because she’s broke and can’t handle it anymore. When Dorothy tells Tully that they’re leaving, Tully realizes that her mother hasn’t shown affection or asked about what things need to be packed up for their trip together as mother and daughter. The girl feels afraid but seeks solace with the only person who ever made her feel loved and safe: Gran (her grandmother). As they say goodbye, Gran begins to cry, which makes little Tully feel sorry for causing these tears by having to leave again with Mommy Dearest so soon after arriving safely there once more. But Mommy doesn’t care about making little Tully feel better; instead she grabs the child by the shoulders and shakes her hard, telling her never to apologize because it makes you look pathetic.

Firefly Lane Book Summary, by Kristin Hannah