By Amy Hatvany
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Publication date: 3/4/2014
My Rating: 5 Stars +
A "compelling and thought-provoking" novel about two mothers and one daughter who are linked by tragedy and bound by secrets, from the acclaimed author of Heart Like Mine.
Amy Hatvany’s writing has been hailed as “exquisitely rendered” (Caroline Leavitt), “compelling” (The Seattle Times), and “visceral” (Emily Giffin). Now, in the provocative Safe with Me, 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.
A masterful narrative, shaped by nuanced characters whose fragile bonds are on a collision course with the truth, Safe with Me is a triumph!
HATVANY’S “BEST OF THE BEST! This is my fifth book by Amy, with a rating of ALL 5 Stars; however, can honestly say, SAFE WITH ME is an award-winning book, rightly deserving to be at the top of the list as recipient of Best Fiction of 2014.
When I give a 5 star rating, it is due to a number of criteria, with the main one, “not being able to put the book down”. So when you run across a book such as, SAFE WITH ME, five stars seems inadequate, as deserving of more. (you want to blog and tell all your friends to buy this book, TODAY)!
I knew the first time I read one of Amy’s books, she would be one of my favorite authors for life. Everything she writes is so masterfully crafted, reflective of her talents as a highly skilled author, speaking from the heart with honestly, sensitivity and humor. She is not afraid to tackle highly charged subjects such as alcoholism, grief, critical illness, sickness, abuse, family drama, relationships, social subjects, death, bullying, and organ donation.
From the first page, I was hooked! There are some strong women characters here, and the topics Hatvany selected, and brilliant way she was able to skillfully create a path for each of these woman to connect and intersect, was outstanding! The characters had so many flaws, yet she used them in such a delicate way to create a positive and warm feel and take away, for her readers and fans. (I also enjoy her acknowledgement with the creation of her stories, as inspiring).
SAFE WITH ME, had so much meaning from the emotional to the physical. From creating false identity and hope of oneself, coping with insecurities and dishonesty, fabricating stories and lies created by fear, and continuing to keep feelings and actions buried deeper, for a more serious outcome.
I especially related to the abuse topic, as was a victim in a similar situation with a wealthy, controlling second husband, with Jekyll and Hyde, Sleeping with the Enemy type personality, as James; in so much, I could almost predict his next move, with painful memories resurfacing, as I turned the pages of this realistic plight. Fortunately, I was able to escape this abusive marriage after five long years, finding a highly independent and rewarding life thereafter.
I loved the character of Hannah, a successful hair stylist owner, mother, friend, daughter, sister, and business partner; picking herself up, getting back into the world and trusting again, as well as her altruistic friendship and nurturing with Olivia and Maddie.
Maddie’s first hand struggle as patient and afterwards as a transplant survivor was heart breaking, as she is attempting to survive in world new to her, while dealing with her own guilt and prison within her own home.
In addition, how social media and technology played a huge part in the storyline and narrative, as well as how teens can become involved in such peer pressure with such tactics as bullying, shoplifting, as well as online attempts to help make themselves to fit in and be more acceptable.
There are so many dynamics to this powerful and riveting story which will keep you turning well into the night, with your heart pounding to see what coming around the corner. We all need friendships, encouragement and support to help those in time of need through grief, with domestic shelters, and support groups.
An amazing story, which will live on well after the last page. Hats off Amy – this is a winner! Thank you, for the courage, tenacity, and commitment to craft such a remarkable story. I highly recommend, as well as all her books. (Here’s hoping for a sequel with Hannah, Olivia, and Maddie -these characters are too good, to end.)
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