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Monday, March 5, 2012

Currently Reading: night road :: Kristin Hannah

 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.

 I enjoyed reading this novel because it satisfied my need for suspense. Another thing that I found interesting is it allowed me to see the point of view from the 'overprotective parent'. 

 Literature describes these types as 'Helicopter Parents' - the kinds I see usually only have one child and have the idea that stifling their independence and coddling them means that they love them more - and that the child will always need this 'love'. 

Maybe this might be why there are mostly parents that attend university information sessions - they are protecting their 'investment' but I digress. Interestingly, I can't help but see a correlation between the helicopter parenting style and kids who are 30 and not sure what they want to be when they grow up. 

I identified with Lexi - no my parents weren't drug addicts and I was not neglected. But I had an upbringing that allowed me to make my own decisions without interference or objections. My parents guided me, they didn't guilt me into their idea or their plans for how my life should be.
They always knew I would be helping people to achieve their own ideas and aspirations. They also knew I was happy with what I have and wasn't driven by money or by status. I was destined for something else - Not-for-profit, which eliminated doctor and lawyer careers.  

It also resonated with me when Lexi was judged because of her poor socioeconomic status while going to a school far away from her trailer park - at a high school with the well-to-do. Of course, she stood out from the other teenagers; how about the clothing, the homes, the cars? And what sort of influence would she be - after all, her deceased mother was a heroin addict and she never knew her father. What would happen if she made friends with someone - and her parents didn't approve of her because of her circumstances?

Rich parents often blame poor kids when their offspring effs up. Poor kids aren't effing up because they cant afford to. It becomes a question of pride - the doctor and teacher couple, well, their children must excel; they have no choice because it looks bad if they don't do well academically (I mean come on - what kind of 'teacher' are you if your own kid can't learn? What kind of doctor are you if your kid screws up one question on their test; was it because they fell off their bike and you weren't there to catch them?). Tough life...


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