Lisa G. (Riverwoods, IL)
Safe With Me
Organ donation and domestic abuse are two topics of importance that the author, Amy Hatvany, weaves together in this gem of contemporary fiction. The book is all about picking up the pieces when things go wrong and the unlikely circumstances that throw people together. The characters held my interest as did the story line although I knew where it was going early on. This was an enjoyable read that would spark good discussions for book clubs.
Anna R. (Oak Ridge, TN)
From the first sentence to the last sentence, this story grabs you and doesn't let go. The reader feels Hannah's anguish over the lose of her daughter and Oliva's joy when her daughter Maddie, receives a new liver. The way the author brings the characters together is very believable.
The story gives a good look at abuse and why it is so hard for the victim to leave. The abuser has so much power and control.
Safe With Me will be on my book club's reading list for 2014.
Trezeline B. (Columbia, MD)
Safe With Me
A very good read. At times I could not turn the pages fast enough. The book had several important and timely themes, and they were discussed very well. The book gave information and handled some very emotional topics. I highly recommend this book.
Virginia M. (San Antonio, TX)
I liked it!
I really enjoyed this book, which is a contemporary novel, even though my favorite type of book is historical fiction. The story moved with an appropriate speed, I felt as though the characters were very life-like and believable, the story line grabbed my heart without being maudlin, and the ending gave me a sense of satisfaction. The setting is Seattle WA and it involves Hannah, the mother of a pre-teen who is fatally injured in an accident. After being told that her child is brain-dead, she is forced to decide whether to donate her daughter's organs. While this would be a noble action, it also requires quick action and means saying a quick goodbye to her daughter. A year later and quite by chance, Maddie who is one of the organ recipients (another teenager) and Olivia her mother who now also live in Seattle come in to the beauty salon owned by Hannah. Maddie and Olivia have no idea who Hannah is but Hannah figures it out. It eventually is revealed that the father of that teenager is a dominating abuser who has forbid the family from attempting to contact the organ donator. The dynamics of the story involves the decisions that must be made if the secrets each of the three are to be revealed.
Narration of the novel is shared by the three and so the reader is able to understand each individual's point of view. While switching back and forth between narrators could have presented a difficult and disjointed situation, the author's writing style makes it very easy for the reader to accommodate and benefit from getting into the brain of all three characters.
I would recommend this book to everyone.
I received this book through the First Impression program of Book Browse. That fact did not impact my review in any way.
Linda M. (Windsor, CA)
Safe With Me
Safe With Me was a quick, easy read - quick because I didn't want to put it down. I thought the characters were realistic and well-written. The author captured the teenaged Maddie very well - realistically portraying her fears about starting a new school, making up a fake internet identity, and the burgeoning relationship with the boy from school. The book would be a great book club choice prompting discussions on why women stay in abusive relationships and regarding Hannah's decision to withhold key information from her new best friend.
Lori (Wayland, MA)
I was fortunate to receive an advance reader copy of this book. I have mixed feelings about the book. On one hand, it was a compelling read that was hard to put down. On the other hand, I was only prepared to read about the devastating loss of a child and her organ donation; I didn't expect to read about a book about domestic violence, and I didn't really want to. I have read enough books about domestic violence, and I think this didn't add to the genre.
I would have preferred the book to have focused on the organ donation part of the story. I didn't appreciate the addition of wife beating, and it detracted from the more interesting and unusual theme of organ donation for me. I think fans of Jodi Picoult would appreciate this book, but the stress I felt reading it would keep me from recommending it to book groups.
Daryl B. (Poolesville, MD)
Heroic Women in Safe With Me
As I received this book as an advance copy and the publication date is till 2014, I was sad to be unable to use it as my current book club choice. I loved it and think the other ladies would too! It was a quick read, but partly because I didn't want to put it down. It touches on several sensitive issues-spousal abuse, organ donation and death of a child among others. The central characters are all dealing with major life challenges - Hannah with the death of her daughter, Olivia with an abusive husband and sick daughter, and Maddie, not only dealing with the physical trauma of being sick for so long, but having a violent, controlling father.