The 'Firefly Lane' Book Sequel, 'Fly Away': What to Know

If you're hoping for more Kate and Tully—well, we've got good news.

firefly lane sequel
(Image credit: Diyah Pera/Netflix)

You probably knew that Firefly Lane, the Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke-helmed series climbing up the Netflix top ten, is based on a book by Kristin Hannah. But you may not have known that the book version of Firefly Lane has a sequel: Fly Away, which follows Kate, Tully, Johnny, and Marah...even though one of them (spoiler! alert!) has passed away. (If you've seen the ending of Firefly Lane season 2, part 2, you'll know where I'm going with this. If you haven't: spoilers ahead!)

Much of the Netflix series Firefly Lane takes cues from the book version—with a few key differences. For example, Johnny and Kate are never on the cusp of getting divorced. Tully and Kate do fall out over Marah, but in an entirely different way. Speaking to Entertainment WeeklyFirefly Lane showrunner Maggie Friedman said: "I hope that people who are big fans of the book can watch the show and be like, 'Oh, my God, there's that moment I remember!' And also be like, 'Oh, I'm surprised by this, but it's cool because it's in the spirit of the book, but it's a different thing.'"

What is 'Fly Away' about?

In the series, Kate is diagnosed with cancer and ultimately passes away—and this heartbreaking plot point is in the book, too. In Firefly Lane the book, as with the series, Kate's death is preceded by an epic fallout with Tully—but in the book, this occurs when Tully convinces Kate and Marah to appear on a Girlfriend Hour segment about mothers and daughters (which turns out to be a segment about how overbearing mothers damage their daughters). But then Kate is diagnosed with terminal cancer, and, as with the series, Tully drops everything to reconcile with her before her death. Ultimately, Kate passes away, having asked Tully to please take care of Johnny and her family after she's gone (in the book, Johnny and Kate have two more children).

The book's synopsis: "Tully is a woman trying to deal with the loss of her best friend. She wants to fulfill her promise to Kate—to be there for Kate’s children, but it’s a promise she has no idea how to carry out. What does brash, lonely, ambitious Tully know about being part of a family? Kate’s daughter, sixteen-year-old Marah Ryan, is as lost in her grief as Tully is…until she falls in love with a young man who makes her smile again and leads her into his dangerous, shadowy world. Tully’s mother, Dorothy Hart [a.k.a. Cloud] is an unstable woman who abandoned her child too many times in the past and ultimately broke her heart. Now, when Tully is in danger of losing everything and is more vulnerable and alone than she’s been since she put those rough childhood years behind her, Dorothy returns once more, desperate for another chance to be a good mother. But can she be trusted this time? To help her daughter, Dorothy must face her darkest fears and reveal the terrible secret in her past–only then can she become the mother her wounded daughter needs. A tragedy will bring these three women together and set them on a poignant, powerful journey of redemption. Each has lost her way and they will need each other—and maybe a miracle—to transform their lives."

What happens to Tully and Marah in Fly Away?

Four years after Kate's death, we check in with the remaining characters: Tully, Johnny, Marah, and Cloud. In particular, the book follows the three women—Tully, Marah, and Cloud—and traces their journey past and present. We learn far more about Cloud, in particular, and we also learn more about Tully's journey before and after Kate's death, and see Marah try to work through her grief over her mother.

Speaking to Book Reporter, Hannah said: "I just had to know why Dorothy [a.k.a. Cloud] was the kind of person she was and how Tully and Marah would survive without Kate. Because I lost my own mother when I was much too young, I know intimately that one person can sometimes hold an entire family together, and the loss of that person is devastating. It can take you years to get back on your feet. That's really the theme of Fly Away—how to let go of someone you love and go on. "

firefly lane l to r ben lawson as ryan and yael yurman as marah in episode 105 of firefly lane cr courtesy of netflix © 2020


Plot-wise, the book starts with Tully getting into a life-threatening accident. She spends most of the book hovering between life and death, and that's what brings together the other two characters: Cloud, Tully's mom (known in the book as Dorothy), and Marah, Tully's goddaughter.

As for a third novel? Hannah said: "Writing a "sequel" was the hardest thing I've done, and I do not relish the idea of trying it again. That being said, I do wonder what happens to Marah..."