The Firefly Lane book ending explained and what it hints could lie in store for season 2 part 2

The Firefly Lane book ending is devastating and many show fans might be wondering what might happen if the drama takes the same path

Firefly lane book ending explained, seen here are Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke in Firefly Lane season 2
(Image credit: DIYAH PERA/NETFLIX)

The Firefly Lane book ending couldn't be more emotional and it's possible that the Netflix drama could take a similar path. 

If you’ve already made your way through Firefly Lane season 2 part 1 and are secretly hoping they’ll decide to make a Firefly Lane season 3 after all, you might well be asking yourself how does the Firefly Lane book end? Kristin Hannah’s Firefly Lane book ending is already out there and familiar to so many fans and there’s even a Firefly Lane book sequel that takes the original story even further. The Netflix drama hasn’t always followed the same path as the Firefly Lane novel but season 2 has seen one devastating plotline from the book brought into the show, hinting at what could lie in store. 

But how does the Firefly Lane book end and what does the Firefly Lane book ending suggest we can expect from season 2 part 2? We reveal what you need to know…

*Warning: Major Spoilers ahead!*

Firefly Lane book ending: How does Kristin Hannah's book end? 

If you’ve been wondering - how does the Firefly Lane book end? - and are considering diving into Kristin Hannah’s novel after making your way through the first part of Firefly Lane season 2 then prepare yourself for some heartbreaking scenes. Perhaps the most major of the Firefly Lane book vs show differences so far relates to the Firefly Lane book ending as in Kristin Hannah’s novel fans had to bid a tearful farewell to one of the main characters. 

Whilst the Netflix show’s spellbinding second season has included a flashforward and huge event not in the book that might’ve had people wondering if they’d see Tully die in Firefly Lane, it’s actually Kate that dies in the end of the original novel.  

Sarah Chalke in Firefly Lane

(Image credit: DIYAH PERA/NETFLIX)

She is diagnosed with Stage IV inflammatory breast cancer in an utterly devastating moment that Sarah Chalke’s show-Kate has now been through in the second season. And whilst readers might have hoped against hope that she’d make a full recovery after undergoing treatment, very sadly Kate later passes away in the Firefly Lane book ending. Before her death, though, Kate finally reunited with Tully after their estrangement. 

Just as we saw in Firefly Lane season 2 episode 9, upon receiving her diagnosis Kate immediately attempted to reach out to her former best friend for support, only to discover she’d gone to Antarctica on assignment. 

Sarah Chalke as Kate in Firefly Lane

(Image credit: DIYAH PERA/NETFLIX)

Though she was only left to go through treatment without Tully by her side for a short time as - in true best friend style - Tully rushed home to be with her after hearing about her illness. During this time their grievances are finally put behind them - namely the reason that Tully and Kate stopped talking. In the book their decades-long friendship was pushed to breaking point when Tully invited Kate and her daughter Marah on to her talk show, The Girlfriend Hour. 

Only the segment was far from flattering to Kate - overprotective mothers and the impact they can have on children. Feeling furious and betrayed, Kate stopped speaking to Tully after the show episode aired. 

So despite the heartbreaking circumstances of their reconciliation that is so central to how the Firefly Lane book ends it’s so significant that when it really mattered their friendship couldn’t be broken and that Kate died after reuniting with Tully. 

Firefly Lane season 2 starring Sarah Chalke as Kate, Katherine Heigl as Tully in episode 206 of Firefly Lane

(Image credit: Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022)

Before she passes away in the Firefly Lane book ending Kate’s thoughts are also with her family - husband Johnny and three (unlike in the show where only Marah exists) children. She asks Tully to look after them when she’s gone and even suggests that she’d be ok with Johnny and Tully getting together some time in the future.

In both the book and the Netflix show the pair had a one night stand but it didn’t amount to anything. At the end of the novel, Johnny protests to Kate that he only truly loved her and she leaves behind a note to Tully that will likely have made plenty of readers more than a little heart-broken.

It’s in the note that she makes her request to Tully to look after her family and to tell them all the stories about the friendship that started one day back in the 1970s. 

Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke in Firefly Lane

(Image credit: DIYAH PERA/NETFLIX)

“I know you'll be thinking that I left you, but it's not true,” Kate declares. “All you have to do is remember Firefly Lane, and you'll find me. There will always be a TullyandKate.”

If that poignant note alone doesn’t leave you in floods of tears, we don’t know what will. The actor who plays young Kate in Netflix’s Firefly Lane, Roan Curtis, has described to Oprah Daily how emotional it was for her reading it.

"I took it so personally. I don't think I've ever cried so hard reading a book. Part of it was because I was invested in the character for myself,” she explained. “Regardless of whether I was involved with the production, the book would have absolutely broken my heart, since Kristin Hannah is such a great writer. It feels so unfair, the way that Kate's story ends.”

Roan Curtis and Ali Skovbye in Firefly Lane season 2

(Image credit: DIYAH PERA/NETFLIX)

When it comes to the Firefly Lane book ending the focus remains - as always - upon the central theme of friendship between Tully and Kate. This has been the emotional, not to mention relatable, anchor that has kept fans coming back episode after episode in the Netflix show too. 

What can we expect from Firefly Lane season 2 part 2? 

We might not yet know exactly what lies in store in Firefly Lane season 2 part 2 as we hope that minds will be changed and there’ll end up being a Firefly Lane season 3, but the Firefly Lane book ending has dropped some heart wrenching hints about its possible direction. Whilst Kate’s diagnosis didn’t feature at all in the first season of the hit drama, she has now been diagnosed with breast cancer in season 2 part 1. 

This could be seen to heavily suggest that the show will likely be closely following the Firefly Lane book ending. If it does, then the remaining seven episodes will likely cover the friends’ reconciliation, Kate’s treatment and her later passing away. Of course, it might not end up going exactly the same route, though.

Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke in Firefly Lane season 2


Fans might get lucky and get to see a radically more positive ending for Kate in the Netflix show as it wouldn’t be the first time it’s deviated from Kristin Hannah’s book ending. Perhaps the more impactful example of this story-wise is the reason why Kate and Tully stopped talking. 

Instead of mirroring the Firefly Lane book, the drama chose for the reason to be a car incident that Tully was involved in, accompanied by Kate’s daughter Marah. The talkshow host had not only been in charge of a grounded Marah and allowed her to go out to the movies with a friend anyway, but she’d driven under the influence of alcohol to pick a frightened Marah up when she was taken to a frat party and ended up in a collision.

Will there be a Firefly Lane season 3? Starring Sarah Chalke and Katherine Heigl


In spite of Tully's attempts to apologize for the incident that ultimately wasn't her fault and which she and Marah survived, Kate was having none of it. This is massively different from the book and so it’s always possible that the show could decide to have Kate recover from cancer instead of dying in a similarly huge change. Though given the direction the storyline’s already started going in, this might be unlikely. 

Either way, it seems we can expect tears and perhaps a much-longed for reconciliation when Firefly Lane season 2 part 2 lands next year.

Firefly Lane season 1 and season 2 part 2 are now available to watch on Netflix with season 2 part 2 set to be released on June 8 2023. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use , Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!