Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Originally posted 2016-01-26 17:00:27.

Jude Farraday is a helicopter mother with no life outside of her children. She perceives herself as the perfect parent, but anyone who pictures his or herself as the ideal anything rarely is. Especially in terms of motherhood. Jude’s twins have reached the point where they have both been accepted into college, and once they make it through the final weeks of their senior year, Jude will be free to pursue her own neglected interests. As protective as Jude has been though, she is relatively lax in terms of the parties that her children have been attending; parties in which she knows that drinking is involved. I bet you can guess what happens.

The twins, Mia and Zach, get trashed at a party and Lexi, their best friend/girlfriend (respectively), who is only moderately buzzed, is the only one sober enough to even attempt the short drive home. She crashes, killing her best friend, injuring her boyfriend, and supremely igniting the rage of Jude. Lexi pleads guilty and spends the next five years in prison, but not before finding out that she is pregnant with Zach’s baby. She gives over custody to Zach, but Jude treats this poor kid like trash because she so closely resembles the dead Mia (who may or may not be haunting the child).

This is a lot of drama, and a lot of buildup. Lexi eventually gets out of prison, and she obviously is curious about the child that she gave up so long ago. What is so disappointing about Night Road is the fact that for all of the turmoil, the resolution is swift and relatively painless for everyone. SPOILER ALERT. Lexi and Zach have a tense meeting or two prior to her release, and then get back together as if nothing happened. They tell their daughter that mommy is now going to live with them and suddenly everything is right in the world. Overnight, Jude goes from loathing her granddaughter to loving her, because that’s not going to give the kid a complex or anything. People raved about this book; I like pulpy trash as much as the next person, but this was just way too much for me to handle.

Previously published on on July 4, 2015