Safe with Me: Book summary and reviews of Safe with Me by Amy Hatvany

Safe with Me

By Amy Hatvany

Safe with Me
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2014,
    352 pages.

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Book Summary

A "compelling and thought-provoking" (Kristin Hannah) 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.

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.

A masterful narrative, shaped by nuanced characters whose fragile bonds are on a collision course with the truth, Safe with Me is a triumph.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The voices are so down-to-earth and familiar and the events so much like real life that readers will feel like they know the characters." - Kirkus

"A good pick for women's-fiction fans, particularly those who enjoy the realistic stories of Emily Giffin and Kristina Riggle." - Booklist

"Beautiful and deeply moving, Amy Hatvany writes about the tangled web of family in a way that makes you laugh, cry, cheer and ache." – Sarah Jio, New York Times bestselling author of Blackberry Winter

"Readers of Amy Hatvany know that in her books, they will encounter stories that are a cut above most popular fiction." – Seattle Times

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Reader Reviews

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Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Dawnymae
Safe With Me by Amy Hatvany
I received this book as an ARC from the publisher through Bookbrowse. I have not read any of Amy’s books before, but intend to find them now! The first part of the book is difficult to read as you get to know Hannah who lost her daughter in an accident. She is trying to deal with her grief, as she can’t get over losing her daughter. She meets Olivia, whose daughter Maddie has an autoimmune disease and is growing weaker daily. Olivia also has a husband James who is abusive verbally and physically. Hannah quickly grows friendly with Olivia, whom she has found out received a liver from her daughter Emily. The story is difficult to comprehend, and more importantly difficult to understand. I think Amy has done a great job showing each woman dealing with their own issues, Hannah with grief over the loss of her daughter. Olivia, who is dealing with an abusive husband and needs to hide her shame. Maddie, on being a teenager and having an emaciated body. All these issues are well stated and raw with emotion. I don’t think I could have read this if I was or had dealt with any of the problems. I enjoyed the novel and look forward to grabbing another book by her.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Carol N. (San Jose, CA)
Safe With Me
Having just read "Safe With Me," I am having very mixed emotions about its content.
I was prepared to read about a mother's devastation on the loss of her daughter and her decision to donate the child's organs. I was not prepared to have the domestic violence – the voice of Olivia as she struggles with her abusive relationship with her affluent dark sided husband.

Having raised two daughters and now enjoying a delightful 16 year old granddaughter to love and cherish, it made the subject matter very real at times and I discovered it was difficult for me to absorb. Several times I put the book down and didn't return to it for several days. I believe the author made a statement on her acknowledgement page that she had tackled this subject once before unsuccessfully and was ready this time to really write it... and she did. I am not sure I liked the ending. Could there have been other options? This novel tugs at your heart way after having read the last page.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Bettye (Phoenix, AZ)
Sequel please!
I Really liked this book. The female characters are well drawn and very sympathetic. The "bad guy" is great to despise. There are very insightful and poignant passages regarding the loss of a child. When I looked up and saw that there were only a few pages remaining, my heart sank; I was NOT ready to say goodbye to these three interesting women. I'm actually hoping for a sequel.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Carol E. (Stone Mountain, GA)
Safe With Me
Amy Hatvany's "Safe With Me" was an enjoyable read. I was captivated from the beginning, and the storyline held my interest throughout. This book touched on several human and social issues: the unfortunate loss of a child, organ donation, domestic abuse, and bullying. Although I think Ms. Hatvany could have delved a bit deeper into the subject matters, her writing style was thoughtful and emotionally provocative. Her treatment of the love, pain, understanding, and sacrifices associated with mother/daughter relationships was realistic and heartfelt. I liked this book and would definitely recommend it to my book club. . Young adults could also benefit from reading "Safe With Me."

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Lee W. (Knoxville, TN)
Could not put it down!
I was drawn in to this book immediately. The author caught the emotions of Hannah and was able to convey them to me, the reader, in such a way that I felt that I was on the street with Hannah. The author was able to speak in all the characters voices with ease and I had no trouble switching from voice to voice. The subject matter was a little tough to read in parts; but it was realistic and I wanted to find out how the characters moved through their conflicts. I was relieved at the end, when everyone came to the end they deserved. All in all I enjoyed this book and look forward to others from Amy Hatvany. I will be recommending this one to my book group as well!

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Mary Beth S. (Mequon, WI)
Safe with me
Amy Hatvany brings a lot of major issues to her book "Safe With Me" - single parenthood, the death of a child, organ donation viewed from both recipient and donor family, spousal abuse. She manages to weave all these topics together seamlessly into a plausible, well told tale. This quick read would be a perfect choice for a book club. Any one of Hatvany's big ideas would work as a conversation starter; all of them strung together would make for an interesting evening.

...60 more reader reviews

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Amy Hatvany is the author of Best Kept Secret, Outside the Lines, The Language of Sisters, and Heart Like Mine. She lives in Seattle with her family. Visit her at amyhatvany.com

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