Saturday, July 17, 2010
Firefly Lane, by Kristin Hannah
R sent me the book with her recommendation. I haven't been reading much lately that isn't molecular biology, but I had some downtime and thought it would be a good change (from the science). It's summer reading for women, a story of a friendship spanning decades. There's the mushy "you're my best friend" and touching "I don't know what I'd do without you" as well as some sex (with men, not between the two women). It's a little too mushy, if you ask me. But it's a good easy read, perfect for the summer and good to get me reading fiction again.
See, the problem is that I never really liked either character. I think I was supposed to identify with one or the other, but I probably wouldn't be friends with either. One is self-obsessed, the other is a doormat. The only reason their friendship lasted is that one put up with the other's bullshit. I guess that's part of many friendships, but it seemed excessive here. It's hard for me to think of something the more charismatic one did for the boring one besides show her how to put on makeup and get her arrested. And that's just when they were teenagers. It gets worse.
I know, she was "damaged" because her mom abandoned her to get high. I don't think that's an excuse to treat your best friend like shit. And (SPOILER) she tries to make up for it in the end. But is that really good enough? Does her attention and care at the end of the book make up for the 30+ years of not considering how her actions would destroy her best friend? I hate to think that there are women out there who think they can act like this and be forgiven. Maybe I'm too much of a hard ass, but I don't think I would have stuck with such an uneven friendship for so long. I have too many wonderful friends to spend time with someone who treats me like crap.