Book Review: Night Road

Night Road
Narrated By: Kathleen McInerney
Published By: Brilliance Audio
Publication Date: March 2011
Audio Length: 14 hours and 46 minutes
Source: Library
Audience: Adult - Contemporary Fiction

On the Story & Writing:

I have only read one other book by Kristin Hannah, Summer Island, and while it was entertaining I didn't remember it being anything that blew me away. I was in one of my "I miss Seattle" funks and decided to pick this up on a whim to see if it could satiate my craving for all things Pacific Northwest. Hannah is a resident of Washington State and this novel was inspired by Bainbridge Island - one of my favorite places on Earth - so I figured if anyone could cure my longing, it would be her. She delivered not only a healthy dose of Pacific Northwest setting, but also an emotional story that had me in tears and still lingers in my mind.

This novel is richly detailed and the story is so intricate. You can't help loving these characters and finding yourself considering them friends. That's what makes this novel so difficult to read. Even when the characters make horrible decisions and do unspeakable things to one another, you still love them. I could always understand where each character was coming from even if I didn't agree with the way they handled things. The issue of teen drinking and drunk driving play a dominant role in the plot; I would highly recommend this book to mothers of teens. These issues are constantly making headlines and I appreciate Hannah drawing attention to the matter.

At it's core, this is a novel about family and friendship. We all are able to function when life is good and we are surrounded by those we love, but what happens when tragedy strikes? The way people process grief is often difficult to explain and varies drastically between individuals. In this novel, instead of being bonded together in a time of loss, each of the characters tries to push everyone away to deal on their own with the repercussions of one night. It made me wonder how I would handle something like this. I also found myself thinking about how decisions can alter the entire course of our lives - even ones that seem minor.

Kristin Hannah breaks your heart and slowly begins to stitch it back together. Once the final sentence is done, you will feel a lot better, but prepare yourself for several brutal moments along the way.

I'm now ready to tackle more of Hannah's work.

On the Audio:

The narrator's voice got on my nerves whenever she did Mia's voice. I don't know Mia had to sound like a cartoon character while everyone else sounded normal. I did eventually get used to that, but it never totally lost it's annoying factor. Other than that issue - I really enjoyed the audio of this one.

One Last Gripe: There were moments when it seemed like this book was never going to end; it covered so much and is certainly an epic feat for Hannah

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The depth of the characters - their emotions are palpable

First Sentence: She stands at the hairpin turn on Night Road.

Favorite Character: Lexi

Least Favorite Character: I didn't have one

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? 

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 safe and on track for college. 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.

NIGHT ROAD is vivid, emotionally complex novel that 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.


  1. I liked this one, but it wasn't my favorite of Hannah's. I found it a bit shallow.

    My favorite (so far) is True Colors.

    Great review!

  2. Great review, this is my favourite by her so far. I also enjoyed Firefly Lane. I want to read all of her books, only have read 5.

    This one had so much going on and was very emotional I agree.

  3. I am in the middle of Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah, Have you read it?


Post a Comment

We love your comments!