This past month we were fortunate to win copies of Night Road by Kristin Hannah. Jude is a wonderful mother, although she is somewhat protective of her 18-year-old twins, Mia and Zach. When Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, enters their lives as Mia’s friend, Jude welcomes her since Mia had difficulty making friends. Eventually Lexi and Zach fall in love, and the three teens experience partying and drinking during their senior year. A tragic accident occurs which tears the family apart and has a deep impact on Lexi.
We had a spirited discussion about the book and its characters. Most felt that the characters in the book were portrayed in an extreme fashion, and that the events were somewhat contrived. However, some felt it was necessary for the author to do so in order to make her points. For many of us, it brought back the angst of raising teenagers, and the struggle to be protective without hovering. As made clear in the book, no matter what choices we make as parents, there is definitely luck involved in having our children survive the teenage years unscathed.
Although the book itself did not get rave reviews from the group, it certainly led to an interesting discussion. Some felt it would be helpful for teens to read the book to see what an impact drinking and driving can have, but others felt it was too extreme a situation, and that in any event most teens feel invincible, and that bad things will never happen to THEM. We all agreed that communication with our kids is the best way to have an impact, although it certainly does not guarantee smooth sailing.