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
    Genre: Novels

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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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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!

Christine D. (Closter, NJ)

Heartbreaking and Life-Affirming
Amy Hatvany's Safe With Me reels you in from the very first page. The characters and their actions are so real, you can't help but feel for them. The story is both heartbreaking and life-affirming. It makes you feel thankful for all you have, and for simply being alive. It makes you think about what you would do in the different characters' situations, and hope you would have the courage to do the right thing. Unfortunately, especially in the case of Hannah's and Olivia's situations, Amy Hatvany described it brilliantly when she had Olivia note that life is full of shades of gray, and it's not so simple for one to say 'yes, I would do that' and have that be true. Which is what makes the story work so well, how true it is to life, the way it exemplifies all the different options you have in a given situation, the way events can pile up all at once, and how grief can take hold of you that you pull back from the world and the ones you love.

KJD

Safe with Me very touching
I was reading this book as my father was very ill so at first it was hard to read. Also, I have an only daughter and so I cried at the beginning - won't say more than that. I enjoyed the book after I got into it. I felt the author kept the story interesting and developed the characters well.

Kathleen S. (Oshkosh, WI)

Safe With Me a safe bet for a good read!
I was captured by Amy Hatvany's story right from the start, and devoured her book quickly. The author did an excellent job of making me empathize with each of the three main characters - her style is very reminiscent of Jodi Picoult's, but there weren't the plot twists that I associate with Picoult. I think this would be an excellent book for a book club to read and discuss. My only complaint is that I would have liked the author to continue the story a bit further than she did. Overall though, I highly recommend Safe With Me.

Laura G. (Buffalo, NY)

So much to think about
I loved the book "Safe with Me" by Amy Hatvany. It was hard to put down. You see, even having known a few people who have been organ recipients, it never occurred to me the feelings both donor families and recipient families experience. The book was a well written, learning experience. I highly recommend it. I think my only problem with the book is that I didn't understand the meaning of the title.

Jessica D. (Bemidji, MN)

Safe With Me
Even though the subject matter dealt with two very difficult issues, I thoroughly enjoyed the story although, for me, the ending seemed a little flat after the big buildup to it. It almost seemed like it ended too soon. I did like Amy Hatvany's writing style and will be reading her other books.

...61 more reader reviews

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More Information

More Information

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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