Summary: Jude Farraday is a happily married, stay-at-home mom who puts everyone’s needs above her own. Her twins, Mia and Zach, are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill enters their lives, no one is more supportive than Jude. A former foster child with a dark past, Lexi quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable. But senior year of high school brings unexpected dangers and one night, Jude’s worst fears are confirmed: there is an accident. In an instant, her idyllic life is shattered and her close-knit community is torn apart. People—and Jude—demand justice, and when the finger of blame is pointed, it lands solely on eighteen-year-old Lexi Baill. In a heartbeat, their love for each other will be shattered, the family broken. Lexi gives up everything that matters to her—the boy she loves, her place in the family, the best friend she ever had—while Jude loses even more.

When Lexi returns, older and wiser, she demands a reckoning. Long buried feelings will rise again, and Jude will finally have to face the woman she has become. She must decide whether to remain broken or try to forgive both Lexi…and herself.

Night Road is a vivid, emotionally complex novel that raises profound questions about motherhood, loss, identity, and forgiveness. It is an exquisite, heartbreaking novel that speaks to women everywhere about the things that matter most. — from Goodreads

Kristin Hannah, where have you been all my life? I don’t know how I missed this author. Apparently everybody knows her work. Oh well, the good news is it means I have lots of catching up to do. And I do look forward to catching up. I don’t know how the rest of her work stacks up to this but if I were to guess, she’s a winner. Because this was fantastic.

Jude Farraday is a self-proclaimed “helicopter mom” to her twins Mia and Zach. She runs them here and there, makes their lunch, does their chores when they forget. She knows all their friends and is involved with all their activities.

When Lexi Biall walks into this family as the new best friend of the lonely Mia, she meets the first real mom she has ever known. Then Zach, Mia’s twin falls in love with her and instead of straining Mia and Lexi the three become the Three Musketeers. Over the course of three years we watch them grow and blossom until one horrible, fateful night everything changes forever.

I’m love good writing, love the way it whisks you away into someone else’s universe. Hannah did the most amazing job and making me remember both what it was like to be a teenager on the cusp of growing up and discovering who you are and who your going to be and feeling what it’s like to be the parent watching the children you’ve loved and nurtured move away from you. And when the unimaginable happens Hannah brings the raw pain and suffering to life.

And yet, this is a hopeful, inspiring story of how even in the most dire of circumstances we can still go on and find a way to thrive and be happy. We can love those we never thought we could even forgive. And a family, if given the chance, can heal and come together in the end.

I’m so happy I found Kristin Hannah and I’m so excited I have 18 novels to get to know her better and hopefully by the time I’m finished she’ll have to another new one out.

I received this copy of Night Road as part of Library Thing’s Early Reviewer Program. Coming March 29, 2011.