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Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. Abandoned by her mother at an early age, she longs to be loved unconditionally.

Firefly Lane Review – Jameyanne Fuller

In the glittering, big-hair era of the eighties, she looks to men to fill the void in her soul. But in the buttoned-down nineties, it is television news that captivates her. She will follow her own blind ambition to New York and around the globe, finding fame and success. Throughout college, she pretends to be driven by a need for success, but all she really wants is to fall in love and have children and live an ordinary life.

In her own quiet way, Kate is as driven as Tully. Exhaling a cloud of gray smoke right into her face, he smiled. How's she s'posed to be real if she can't get dirty? Mommy looked at Tully for the first time; really looked at her. Life isn't about cooking and cleaning and havin' babies.

It's about bein' free. Doin' your own thing. You can be the fucking president of the United States if you want. The woman in the headband patted Mom's thigh. Pass me that bong, Tom. Tully frowned, feeling a new kind of shame in the pit of her stomach.


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She thought she looked pretty in this dress. And she didn't want to be the president. She wanted to be a ballerina. Mostly, though, she wanted her mommy to love her. She edged sideways until she was actually close enough to her mother to touch her. She pulled out the necklace she'd worked so hard on, agonized over, really, still gluing glitter on long after the other kids had gone out to play.

Mom snagged the necklace and closed her fingers around it. Tully waited and waited for her mom to say thank you and put the necklace on, but she didn't; she just sat there, swaying to the music, talking to her friends. Tully finally closed her eyes. The smoke was making her sleepy. For most of her life she'd missed her mommy, and not like you missed a toy you couldn't find or a friend who stopped coming over to play because you wouldn't share. She missed her mommy. It was always inside her, an empty space that ached in the daytime and turned into a sharp pain at night.

She'd promised herself that if her mommy ever came back, she'd be good.

Whatever she'd done or said that was so wrong, she'd fix or change. More than anything she wanted to make her mommy proud. But now she didn't know what to do. In her dreams, they'd always gone off together alone, just the two of them, holding hands. I was gone because —". Tully came awake with a jolt.


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Her head was pounding and her throat hurt. When she tried to say, Where are we? Tully had never seen so many people in one place. The rest of the day was a blur of people chanting slogans and singing songs. Tully spent every moment terrified that she'd somehow let go of her mother's hand and be swept away by the crowd.

She didn't feel any safer when the policemen showed up because they had guns on their belts and sticks in their hands and plastic shields that protected their faces. By the time it got dark, she was tired and hungry and her head ached, but they just kept walking, up one street and down another.

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The crowd was different now; they'd put away their signs and started drinking. Sometimes she heard whole sentences or pieces of conversation, but none of it made sense. They were dyin' to knock our teeth out, but we were peaceful, man. Couldn't touch us. Hey, Dot, you're bogarting the joint. Everyone around them laughed, Mommy most of all. Tully couldn't figure out what was going on and she had a terrible headache. People swelled around them, dancing and laughing.

From somewhere, music spilled into the street. No one answered or turned to her, even though there were people everywhere. She pushed through the bodies, screaming for her mommy until her voice failed her. Finally, she went back to where she'd last seen her mommy and waited at the curb. For years afterward, she tried to remember what had happened next, what she did, but all those people were like a cloud that obscured her memories.

All she ever remembered was waking up on a dirty cement stoop along a street that was totally empty, seeing a policeman on horseback. From his perch high above her, he frowned down at her and said, "Hey, little one, are you all alone? He took her back to the house on Queen Anne Hill, where her grandma held her tightly and kissed her cheek and told her it wasn't her fault.

But Tully knew better. Somehow today she'd done something wrong, been bad. Next time her mommy came back, she'd try harder. She'd promise to be the president and she'd never, ever say she was sorry again. Tully got a chart of the presidents of the United States and memorized every name in order. For months afterward, she told anyone who asked that she would be the first woman president; she even quit taking ballet classes.

On her eleventh birthday, while Grandma lit the candles on her cake and sang a thin, watery version of "Happy Birthday," Tully glanced repeatedly at the door, thinking, This is it, but no one ever knocked and the phone didn't ring. Later, with the opened boxes of her gifts around her, she tried to keep smiling. In front of her, on the coffee table, was an empty scrapbook.

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Complete Firefly Lane Book Series in Order

As a present, it sort of sucked, but her grandma always gave her stuff like this—projects to keep her busy and quiet. Gran sighed tiredly. She's weak and confused. You've got to quit pretending things are different. What matters is that you're strong.

From the New York Times bestselling author of On Mystic Lake comes a powerful novel of love, loss, and the magic of friendship. One of the first things Tully says to Kate is a lie. Indeed, Tully is quick to lie throughout her life. Do you think this trait is her way of hiding the shames in her past or is it a willful reinterpretation of self? Do these lies and manipulations, big and small, help her ultimately to be more honest about whom she is or do they undermine her ability to face her own shortcomings?

From her earliest memory, Tully feels abandoned by her mother and father. How does this sense of being unwanted influence her life? How does her troubled relationship with her mother lead to the decisions she makes in her life? Do children have an obligation of some kind to forgive their parents, even in the face of repeated disappointment? How much do you think childhood heartaches make us who we are?

The Kate-Johnny-Tully triangle is one of the central threads of the novel. How does Johnny really feel about Tully? How does Tully feel about him? Kate believes she is Johnny's second choice for love. How does Johnny contribute to her insecurities?

Firefly Lane Review

How did Tully? How much of a relationship is set in the beginning and how are changes made as we grow? When Chad leaves Tully, she rationalizes away her broken heart by saying, "if he really loved me, he would wait for me.