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Night Road Hardcover – March 22, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (March 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312364423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312364427
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (707 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #573,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Product Description

For a mother, life comes down to a series of choices. 

To hold on…

To let go..

To forget…

To forgive…

Which road will you take?

                                                            Night Road

For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children’s needs above her own, and it shows—her twins, Mia and Zach—are bright and happy teenagers.  When Lexi Baill moves into their small, close knit community, no one is more welcoming than Jude.  Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, quickly becomes Mia’s best friend.  Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable.   

Jude does everything to keep her kids on track for college and out of harm’s way.  It has always been easy-- until senior year of high school.  Suddenly she is at a loss.  Nothing feels safe anymore; every time her kids leave the house, she worries about them. 

On a hot summer’s night her worst fears come true. One decision will change the course of their lives.  In the blink of an eye, the Farraday family will be torn apart and Lexi will lose everything.  In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forget…or the courage to forgive.

Vivid, universal, and emotionally complex, NIGHT ROAD raises profound questions about motherhood, identity, love, and forgiveness.  It is a luminous, heartbreaking novel that captures both the exquisite pain of loss and the stunning power of hope.  This is Kristin Hannah at her very best, telling an unforgettable story about the longing for family, the resilience of the human heart, and the courage it takes to forgive the people we love.



Amazon Exclusive: A Conversation Between Kristin Hannah and Emily Giffin

Emily Giffin (left) is the author of five New York Times bestselling novels, including Something Borrowed, which has been adapted as a major motion picture that will be in theaters in summer 2011. A graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law, she lives in Atlanta with her family.

Kristin Hannah (right) is the New York Times bestselling author of eighteen novels, including Winter Garden. She is a former lawyer turned writer and the mother of one son. She and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.

Kristin Hannah: Well, first, I have to say, Emily, that I am just the tiniest bit irritated with you. When I got the call to do this interview, I was thrilled, to say the least. It came at a really busy time for me--right after the holidays and we all know how crazy that is--and my work in progress was giving me fits. Then I picked up Heart of the Matter, and lost myself. No more writing, no more cooking, no getting my hair done or reading my email. Once I started the story I literally couldn't put it down. Brava, girlfriend, I say. Your characters are so real and compelling, and they always say exactly the right thing. With so much honest emotion, I just have to ask how much of your work comes from your own life?

Emily Giffin: It never fails to thrill me when someone responds to one of my novels--especially when it's another writer. Writers understand the alchemy involved in making up something from nothing. And I just finished your book, Night Road, and I found it so emotional, so moving, and so terrifying--especially since I have three young children who will someday be teenagers. In terms of how much does my work come from my own life, I would say that I'm absolutely inspired by people, places, conversations, relationships, and issues that I observe, and that the "what if" part of my novel is very much inspired by these things in my life. But the details of my plots and the specifics of my characters come from my own head. How about you, Kristin? I'll ask you the million-dollar question that every author gets asked: where do you get your ideas?

Kristin: Ah, the idea question. I don't want to sound coy, but the truth is, I don't quite know. It's the most magical part of the process for me. I'm a pretty analytical gal, and I approach writing in the same just-the-facts-ma'am way I approach most things. I need to find an issue that engages me on an intellectual level, and then I need to marry that curiosity with a kind of passion. I need to feel genuinely passionate about each story before I ever write a word, and I have to actually have something to say. It takes me at least a year to research and write a novel, and so I have to really adore each part of it--the characters, setting, story. Most of all, it has to make me feel something genuine. That's really the most important component. Usually it begins with a single "what if" question--what if you discovered your mother had a whole secret life about which you knew nothing (Winter Garden) or what if your husband were accused of a crime you believed he hadn't committed (True Colors)--and then I write and re-write until the characters seem as real to me as old friends.

Kristin: I'm amazed by how much we have in common. We're both moms, both lawyers, both lived in London for a time. You're like a younger, cooler version of me. How did you make the transition from lawyer to writer, and do you think you'll ever practice law again?

Emily: I would hardly say I'm cooler than you, Kristin! I hear you live in Hawaii part time! What is cooler than that? I made the transition from lawyer to writer because I was so miserable being a lawyer that I needed some escape from the day-to-day of it. And inventing stories was that escape. I can say, without hesitation, that I will never practice law again. Would you? What kind of law did you practice, and for how long? What did you find appealing (or discouraging) about law? Did you find that it gave you fodder for any of your novels?

Kristin: Honestly, I have met very few lawyers who don't say that what they really want to do is write. Like you, I can say with certainty that I will never practice law again. Not that anyone would want me to. But I still keep my Bar membership up...just in case this whole writing thing doesn't work out. And yes, in the past few years, I have finally begun to put some of that law school education to work for me. I find that I'm really enjoying adding legal issues to my work. Of course, I have to talk to real lawyers to make sure I'm getting it right...

Read more of the conversation between Emily Giffin and Kristin Hannah


From Publishers Weekly

Hannah follows up Winter Garden with a strained story of friendship, social pressures, love, and forgiveness. After a string of foster homes and the death of her heroin-addict mother, Lexi Baill is taken in by a newly discovered great-aunt who lives a spartan life near Seattle. Despite financial problems, the two are glad to have found each other, and though Lexi resolves to stay safely on the periphery at her new high school, she soon meets Mia, unhappy and awkward despite a solid family life, a loving twin brother, Zach, and a closetful of clothes. The friendship flourishes, and Mia's mother, Jude, relieved and pleased for her daughter, draws Lexi into the family circle. But trouble begins in senior year with a slowly growing attraction between Zach and Lexi, who take great pains to make Mia comfortable with the change in the dynamics. This familiar story takes an unfortunate turn deep into after-school-special territory when Lexi, Mia, and Zach collectively make a bad decision that results in a tragedy with extreme repercussions. Even readers who like their melodrama thick will have problems as Hannah pushes credibility to the breaking point, and more than once. (Mar.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Kristin Hannah was born in September 1960 in Southern California and grew up at the beach, making sand castles and playing in the surf. When she was eight years old, her father drove the family to Western Washington which they called home.

After working in a trendy advertising agency, Kristin decided to go to law school. "But you're going to be a writer" are the prophetic words she would never forget from her mother. Kristin was in her third-and final-year of law school and her mom was in the hospital, facing the end of her long battle with cancer. Kristin was shocked to discover that her mother believed she would become a writer. For the next few months, they collaborated on the worst, most clichéd historical romance ever written.

After her mom's death, she packed up all those bits and pieces of paper they'd collected and put them in a box in the back of her closet. Kristin got married and continued practicing law.

Then Kristin found out she was pregnant and was on bed rest for five months. By the time she'd read every book in the house and started asking her husband for cereal boxes to read, she knew she was a goner. That's when her husband reminded her of the book she'd started with her mom. Kristin pulled out the boxes of research material, dusted them off and began writing. By the time their son was born, she'd finished a first draft and found an obsession.

The rejections came, of course, and they stung for a while, but each one really just spurred her to try harder, work more. In 1990, Kristin got "the call," and in that moment, she went from a young mother with a cooler-than-average hobby to a professional writer, and has never looked back. In all the years between then and now, she have never lost her love of, or her enthusiasm for, telling stories. Kristin feels truly blessed to be a wife, a mother, and a writer.

Customer Reviews

I read this book, start to finish, in one day.
LaBellaNovella
It's a story about young love, friendship, parenting, tough decisions of life, great loss, deep pain, tragedy, depression, forgiveness and hope.
Ann M. Macpherson
The story line and the characters and so realist and very well developed.
Emma Louise

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Ezinwanyi on March 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I thought the author's writing style was very descriptive and vivid. Her tone was conversational and engaging.

Night Road introduces us to a young woman named Alexa "Lexi" Baill, who was a product of a heroin addicted mother. She was in and out of various foster homes until a great-aunt named Eva Lange came to claim her. I knew this book would leave me in tears when Lexi met her great-aunt for the first time and said "If you keep me, you won't regret. I swear it." I knew then that this young woman was going to captivate me.

After four days in her new home in Port George, Washington, she makes her first friend Mia Farraday, an outcast, like herself. Mia was the twin sister of Zach Farraday, a popular jock who dragged Mia along in order to try to help her fit in. Soon the three of them become a packaged deal of sorts, going everywhere together, and sleepovers at the Farradays etc.
Jude Farraday became the mother that Alexa always wanted, but never had. Jude Farraday was slightly neurotic when it came to parenting. She insisted on walking her high school kids to their lockers, checking home work, chaperoning all school dances etc.
This book weaves a story about teenagers pushing boundaries, learning responsibilities, making choices and living with the consequences of those choices. It was heart wrenching when I realized that they were going to drive home drunk that fateful night. I knew the consequences would be quite severe and it was.

I loved the easy friendship between Mia and Lexi--the way they accepted each other after experiencing so many rejections in life. I loved how Zach and Lexi fell in love and how Mia ultimately accepted their love. I also loved how hard Zach worked at protecting Mia in all things.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Lauren on March 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
When I first heard of this book a few months back, I just knew I had to read it. The premise sounded amazing, the cover was eye-catching, and Kristin has received plenty of praise. Therefore, when the chance finally came to read Night Road, I jumped right in, devouring it in one long sitting, as Night Road was simply fantastic. Full of likeable and complex characters, star-crossed romance, and tension, this one read had me flipping the pages as fast as humanly possible.

Night Road tells the story of Lexie Baill and the Farraday family. For Jude Farraday, her whole life has been dedicated to her family- specifically her two twins Zach and Mia. However, while Zach is the king of his grade, Mia has always failed to the wayside. Everything changes when Lexie moves to town during the twin's freshman year of high school, though. Scared yet brave, Lexie quickly finds herself part of the Farraday family- another daughter to Jude, a best friend to Mia, and possibly "something more" to Zach. As the years continue, the bond only grows strong...until one horrific accident. Faced with sudden and bone chilling tragedy, everything changes between them all, landing one in jail and the rest in emotional distress. Will they all be able to begin living again? Will they be able to forget and move on before it is too late to do so? Will everything get worse or better in the end? Only time and more pages will tell in this heart wrenching tale of love, hope, and forgiving as well as moving on.

Out of everything in this book, I have to say the characters are most likely my favorite aspect. Complex yet loveable, the main characters found in this one where one is who stories caught me from the very first page and kept me until the very last.
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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful By S. A. W. on April 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a difficult book to categorise. Amazon classifies it as a physiological thriller, but there's little suspense and no spine-tingling action here. The promo blurb proclaimed it to be haunting, which is a bit of an overstatement. Still, Night Road is an engrossing read; I stayed up until 2 a.m. to finish it.
The narrative is told from two different viewpoints, one an orphan teenage girl, the other an upper-class overprotective mother. As a result, the book reads like a cross between chick lit and young adult romance.

The storyline covers a lot of territory, touching on friendship, familial bonds, parenting, underage drinking, premarital sex, justice, recompense, debilitating grief, and forgiveness. Such a plethora of topics, combined with a polished writing style and vivid characters, make Night Road an appealing choice for book clubs.

Unfortunately, it's pretty obvious from the first chapter how the plot will pan out: A friendship is strained by a secret love and then there's a tragic accident. It feels like one of those old after school specials

I had a hard time relating to many of the characters. The Farraday family comes across as shallow silver spooners. The mother in particular is grating. Indulgent and yet controlling of her children, she ends up being vindictive and completely self-centred, traits that are also evident in her children.

A good portion of the book deals with devastation and on-going grief. Kristin Hannah handles the subject matter skilfully and compassionately. However, the fairy tale ending feels completely wrong. It's far too simplistic, which is a real letdown after all the story's emotional complexity.
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