Author: Kristin Hannah
Series: Stand Alone
Published: Available now from St. Martins Press
Source: Won ARC
Description: Jude Farraday is a happily married, stay-at-home mom who puts everyone’s needs above her own. Her twins, Mia and Zach, are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill enters their lives, no one is more supportive than Jude. A former foster child with a dark past, Lexi quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable. But senior year of high school brings unexpected dangers and one night, Jude’s worst fears are confirmed: there is an accident. In an instant, her idyllic life is shattered and her close-knit community is torn apart. People—and Jude—demand justice, and when the finger of blame is pointed, it lands solely on eighteen-year-old Lexi Baill. In a heartbeat, their love for each other will be shattered, the family broken. Lexi gives up everything that matters to her—the boy she loves, her place in the family, the best friend she ever had—while Jude loses even more. When Lexi returns, older and wiser, she demands a reckoning. Long buried feelings will rise again, and Jude will finally have to face the woman she has become. She must decide whether to remain broken or try to forgive both Lexi…and herself.
I Give This ...
I've never read anything by Kristin Hannah although I've been meaning too. After reading this, it's something I'm going to have to remedy. I enjoyed Night Road from beginning to end.
I wasn't fond of Jude, which was strange from me as a parent. I think it's because I'm so far from the helicopter parent and I don't ever plan on being one. There were so many times I wanted to tell her to step back and let them have lives. Really, what parent would want to walk the child to their locker and to their first class on the first day of high school? But, her parenting is such a integral part of the story. It's part of the reasoning behind what happened that horrible night.
I actually really like the teens in this story. Mia actually reminded me a lot of myself as a teenager. She was driven, but was so shy that she needed someone to push her forward. And she need that person to be someone other than her mother. I loved Zach. He has such a connection to his twin even though they have such different interests and friends. The fact that he's wanted to be with Lexi for so long but stayed away because he knew Mia needed her as a friend more was so admirable.
The accident that changed all their lives was predicable. But what happens afterwards was so far from that. Lexi willingly takes the blame and the courts decide to make an example out of her. And what happens that first year brought me to tears. Lexi was trying so hard to distance herself from the Farraday's. I was happy to see the chance when she's finally able to get her life back on track.
In the end Lexi has to face her own demons as well as making the Farraday's (especially Jude) face their own. Lexi has to learn that she's not her mother. She capable of love and being loved despite of what has happened. Jude has to learn to forgive herself. Because until she does, she can't begin to forgive Lexi. Zach has to learn to acknowledge what he's wanted all along and that it's ok to have it. It's an emotional roller coaster ride along the way.