ISBN #: 978-1476704418
Page Count: 352
Copyright: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Washington Square Press
(Taken from Amazon)
The screech of tires brought Hannah Scott’s world as she knew it to a devastating end. 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 fifteen-year-old daughter, Maddie, survived only because Hannah’s daughter 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 in the wake of the transplant that saved their 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.
A masterful narrative shaped by nuanced characters whose delicate bonds are on a collision course with the truth, Safe with Me is a riveting triumph.
When I find a dual-themed novel, I also find that those themes tend to clash. Instead of a cohesive story, the dual themes often times battle each other to be noticed. Safe with Me is a dual-themed novel, but this is an exception to the norm. The dual themes actually work together to form a cohesive plot.
Take the first theme: the donation of a liver. You see and experience each participating person's emotional journey from this transaction. Hannah's grief over losing her daughter is palatable, but you can also feel her hesitant satisfaction about being able to do something good for another family. Olivia experiences unadulterated joy at her daughter, Maddie, finally being the recipient of a liver and escaping the clutches of death, but Olivia also feels sorrow and heartache over another mother losing her child so that Maddie could live.
Then you have the second theme: domestic abuse. There are many reasons why people stay in abusive relationships. Perhaps they feel they have no other option. Perhaps they feel as if they couldn't get far enough away from the abuser to feel safe. Perhaps they're perpetually optimistic that the abuser will change. Whatever the reason, the person is not stupid as many of us would think. And while we would say what we'd do differently, it's a completely different scenario when you're the one in the situation. I think Amy captured the emotions and drama of this relationship realistically.
The novel flowed well and each chapter was a specific character's voice, so the reader gets to know the three main characters in this novel: Hannah, Olivia, and Maddie. The only minor issue I had was with the title. When I read a novel, I look for how the title ties into the plot. It's just one of my things. I couldn't find how Safe with Me tied into this plot. Is it referring to Hannah and Olivia's friendship, Hannah and Seth's friendship, Maddie and Noah's friendship, Olivia and James' marriage ... ??? I just don't know. But, like I said, this is a minor issue and just one of my quirky things that I like to do while reading. Overall, I rather enjoyed this novel and would read it again.
*A physical copy of this book was provided by the publicist in exchange for an honest review.