Mothers in Books

Katherine Noel

Fly Away by: Kristin Hannah

Fly away by: Kristin Hannah, reel’s you in from the start. Taking place in from the 1960's- 2010, it shows the many changes and hardships of each time. Hannah tells a story of tragedy, growth, and forgiveness as she reveals the life of Tully, a women who recently lost her best friend, Kate. Kate left Tully her family, forcing Tully to put a stop to her upbeat and outgoing life, and become a mother. The grieving of Tully and Kate’s children, is all consuming and calls for a third party to bring them back to the life Kate would have wanted for them. However, this third party stirs the pot instead of calms it. Dorothy, Tully’s seemingly nonexistent mother, comes to her daughter’s side to try and heal their past. In this heart-wrenching novel Hannah depicts motherhood in two different characters, Dorothy and Tully, both having messy lives and complicated circumstances.


Tully mother, Dorothy, brings this entire story full circle. Throughout the book we hear about Tullys nonexistent mother, and all the trouble she has caused. By the end it's safe to say that Dorothy is the favored character. After hearing her reasons and past, Dorothy is seen in a whole new light. Dorothy does everything to be the best mother she can be, giving up her life to give Tully the best possible scenario. Dorothy shows a mother that is completely selfless, dedicated, and strong.


Tully, a bright and famous talk show host, is thrown into motherhood in perhaps the most difficult time of her life. While grieving the loss of her best friend, recovering a car crash, managing addiction, and making amends with her mother, she also tries to do Kate right by helping to raise her children. Tully learns the hardships of twin boys and a teenage girl. Marah, Kates' teenage daughter drags the reader on with attitude and negativity as Tully tries to keep up. Tullys life is so dramatic and exhausting that her motherhood duties seem irrelevant and useless. Also thrown into the mix is Kates husband Johnny, who all but abandons Tully. While Tully does have some high moments of motherhood, overall she comes of as broken, selfish, and irresponsible.


In the whirlwind of a novel Kate is the most stable mother. The beginning of the novel shows the reader how dedicated she is to her children and their future. Kate knowing her fate, does everything she can to give her children the best possible life, and to create the best support system after her death. Even after her support system fails her, we get a few glimpse of her later in the novel, as the same loving and intelligent mother.
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Hannah portrays an interesting aspect of motherhood that isn’t usually talked about or seen by those that aren’t mothers, she shows the many challenges mothers face, how they handle those challenges, and the effects a mothers personal life has on her children. Dorothy and Tully both have very interesting and complicated stories, the also share an underlying priority, their children. Kate also portrays the dedication and undying love of a mother. While Dorothy, Tully, and Kate live very different lives, Hannah clearly shows the mindset of a mother. No matter what comes their way they make a decision that benefits those they look after, even if it means hurting themselves.