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69 / 165 books. 42% done!
Monday, December 23, 2019

Safe With Me Sad, But Hopeful

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Hannah Scott's whole life changed when she conceived her daughter using an anonymous sperm donor.  It changed again, twelve years later, when her little girl was struck by a car while riding her bike and killed.  Donating Emily's organs didn't stop the pain of losing her, but it eased it just a bit.  Now, 44-year-old Hannah throws herself into running two Seattle hair salons with her best friend.  She loves her work, but sorrow and loneliness still weigh her down.

Type 2 hepatitis has taken a great toll on 16-year-old Maddie Bell.  Having grown up mostly in hospitals and at home in her pajamas, Maddie's not sure she can return to a normal life.  It's been a year since a girl died to give Maddie a new liver and Maddie's father is insisting that Maddie attend high school in person.  After a horrific first day, Maddie's mother takes her to a local salon for a mood-boosting hair makeover.  Little do they know that salon owner is the mother of Maddie's liver donor. 

When Hannah discovers her strange connection to the Bell Family, she's hesitant to say anything.  She can't help being fascinated by the mother/daughter, however, and the better acquainted she becomes with Olivia—Maddie's mom—the more complicated the situation becomes.  Especially when Hannah finds out the devastating secret the family is keeping under wraps.  Desperate to help, the grieving mother risks everything—including the newfound friendship that has come to mean the world to her—to intervene.  Can the women's bond survive when all their secrets finally come to life?  

The premise at the center of Safe With Me by Amy Hatvany is an intriguing one.  A bit contrived maybe, but still interesting.  Hannah, Maddie, and Olivia are all sympathetic characters, with realistic challenges and flaws.  Their story is sad but compelling.  In the end, it's also a hopeful tale.  I can't say that Safe With Me blew my socks off; overall, though, I enjoyed it.  I'll look for more from Hatvany.

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)


If this was a movie, it would be rated:

for language (a handful of F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, mild sexual content, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find


  1. This one sounds a little too predictable for me.

  2. I like the sound of this one a lot. So many different directions the story could go, so many genres it could be used for. I'll take a look.

  3. Organ donation is such an important issue to bring out into the public and this is a good way to do it. I also love stories of donor families and recipients meeting one another. But, it sounds like one tries to do a little too much.


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