Sunday, February 9, 2014

Safe With Me (Amy Hatvany)

Amy Hatvany's Safe With Me begins with the ultimate horror for any parent -- the sudden death of their child.  Life changes in an instant for Hannah, who is grieving the loss of her beloved daughter, Emily, in a tragic accident.  When the doctors ask Hannah to make a decision about organ donation, she is thrust into something that no parent should ever have to decide.

At the same time, Maddie is a teenager with a diseased liver, having spent much of her life in the hospital and wanting more than anything to have a sense of normalcy.  Without an immediate liver transplant, Maddie's prognosis is not good, and Olivia, her mother, is forced to think about the probable death of HER child.  She is also in an abusive marriage but feels that she can't possibly do anything about that unless Maddie gets well.  Safe With Me goes back and forth between narration by Hannah, Maddie, and Olivia; Hannah realizes soon after Maddie and Olivia come into her hair salon that Maddie is the recipient of Emily's liver.  What she will do with that information and how all three slowly move on with their lives makes Safe With Me a compelling read.

The novel ends a little suddenly, and I would have loved it if Hatvany had provided her readers with an epilogue.  However, this is the sort of thought-provoking book that gets people talking about issues and the "What ifs?"  That, to me, makes Safe With Me the most rewarding type of book.