Thursday, March 13, 2014

Review: Safe With Me by Amy Hatvany

Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date: 4th March 2014
Pages: 352
Book Source: Atria Books & NetGalley

Synopsis: 
A novel about two mothers and one daughter who are linked by tragedy and bound by secrets, from the acclaimed author of Heart Like Mine. Now, in the provocative Safe with Me, Amy Hatvany explores controversial and timely issues with astonishing emotional complexity.

The screech of tires brought Hannah Scott’s world as she knew it to a devastating end. Even a year after she signed the papers to donate her daughter’s organs, Hannah is still reeling with grief when she unexpectedly stumbles into the life of the Bell family, whose child, Maddie, survived only because hers had died. Mesmerized by this fragile connection to her own daughter and afraid to reveal who she actually is, Hannah develops a surprising friendship with Maddie’s mother, Olivia.

The Bells, however, have problems of their own. Once on the verge of leaving her wealthy but abusive husband, Olivia now finds herself bound to him as never before in the wake of the successful transplant that saved their fifteen-year-old daughter’s life. Meanwhile Maddie, tired of the limits her poor health puts upon her and fearful of her father’s increasing rage, regularly escapes into the one place where she can be anyone she wants: the Internet. But when she is finally healthy enough to return to school, the real world proves to be just as complicated as the isolated bubble she had been so eager to escape.

My Thoughts:
I'm a huge Amy Hatvany fan! I love her writing so much she's now one of my auto-buy authors. I've loved her previous novels Best Kept Secret, Outside the Lines, and Heart Like Mine. Safe With Me was unputdownable, one of those stories you read with dread, you know the sort - you don't want to look/you can't look away - but ultimately, it's hopeful.  

Single mum Hannah grieves the loss of her daughter after a tragic accident but her decision to donate Emily's organs is a gift of life for others. Olivia's daughter Maddie is the recipient of Emily's liver. Then fate sees Hannah, Olivia and Maddie's lives intersect further.

I guess I should mention I'm a little torn about Safe With Me, torn between too much and just right. I've never experienced that with Amy's books, I never have to question ... 

It's a big ask, covering two emotionally intense topics, organ donation and domestic violence but I believe Amy gives both the respect they deserve. Hannah's grief seeps from the pages and Olivia's feelings, trapped in an abusive marriage, felt real to me. Too much? I honestly don't know, maybe I'm leaning that way because given my history I found it tough to read. Maybe it needed a few more pages. What I do know is Amy Hatvany got the emotion right. 

Hannah, Olivia and Maddie are scarred in different ways, on a different personal journey, but for all three, the common thread is healing and moving forward. 

Safe With Me is written with Amy's trademark sensitivity and depth of understanding. I adore that quality, it's a rare gift to take issues of sensitivity, controversy, judgement and even stigma, present them with raw honesty and emotion and leave a little piece in reader's hearts.  

Believe me you are missing out if you haven't read one of Amy's beautiful novels. 


Connect with Amy Hatvany







12 comments:

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    1. I love Amy's work Julie, I'm sure you will too!!

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  2. One day maybe :D So many books I want

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    1. me too B, but move Amy's books to the top of the list, you won't be sorry lol

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  3. I have this near the top of my wishlist and hope to get it soon, so I only skimmed your review. However I got the idea that you really enjoyed it a lot, and that makes me want to read it asap! I read Heart Like Mine and enjoyed that.Thanks for a good review.

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    1. Thanks Rita, another really good one by Amy. I'll definitely check out your review. My favourite is still Best Kept Secret :)

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  4. How could I have missed this author? I will remedy this asap!

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    1. you are seriously missing out if you haven't read her Nise, can't wait to hear what you think!

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  5. That intense mix of organ donation and domestic violence might be just my kind of read! I've enjoyed all of Hatvany's previous books...and now I'm moving this one up on my list. I was going to give priority to my older books...but no, now I can't! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. lol Laurel, glad I 'encouraged' you to move this one to top of the list. I'll definitely check out your review!

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  6. I want to read Amy bvecause of you!

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    1. YAY I'm stoked that my 'fangirl-ing' has created another Amy reader lol. I'll be most surprised if you don't love her stories as much as I do!!

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