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'Night Road': One Night Can Change A Life

This tale of teen friendship and first love explodes when one night causes changes that will resonate for years.

A review of Night Road by Kristin Hannah           

When Alexa Baille first moves to Pine Island, a small, close-knit community near Seattle, she is worried that she will have another lonely, disappointing school year.  But she quickly befriends Mia Farraday, another shy, friendless girl with an attractive twin brother named Zach.   The two girls quickly discover that they have much in common.  Alexa (Lexi) encourages Mia to try out for the school play, an experience that Mia has been longing for but has lacked the self-confidence to try without having Lexi’s support. The Farraday family welcomes Lexi, providing her with a sense of family and belonging she has never known in her years living with her drug-addicted mother and in a string of foster homes.  Lexi is self-conscious about living in a trailer with her aunt Eva in comparison to the affluent Farradays with their showplace home but she is treated with acceptance and love by everyone.

Soon Lexi and Mia are inseparable.   Then Zach and Lexi begin a romantic relationship and after some initial hesitation, Mia embraces the change.  But on their way home from a party one fateful night at the end of their senior year the three teens run into trouble and the consequences will resonate for many years to come.   Zach and Mia’s mother, Jude Farraday, wants to help but she is unable to do so.  Jude has always prided herself on being a loving, kind, and understanding mother in a way that her own widowed mother was not.  She has devoted herself to raising happy and successful children and doing everything she can to keep them safe.

Until the night of the party Mia, Zach, Jude and husband Miles seemed to be the perfect family.  But that night also has dire consequences for Lexi, who will need to find a new life for herself without the support and love of the Farradays as she learns to find her own way in the world.

This poignant coming-of-age novel is about family, friendship, forgiveness, growing up and the adjustments and accommodations everyone has to make in life.  It is also a sweet story of young love, and the incredible bond teenage girls can find with each other.  This novel is available for checkout at the Niles Public Library.  It is also available in Large Print and in an audio format.  This audio has a particularly good reader, Kathleen McInerney, who performs the narrative with great sensitivity to the thoughts and emotions of all the characters in the novel.

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