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Safe with Me: A Novel Paperback – March 4, 2014
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Hannah and Olivia become friends by chance—the two women hit it off when Olivia brings her teenage daughter, Maddie, into Hannah’s salon for a makeover on a whim. Each woman could really use a friend, as Hannah’s still mourning the accidental death of her daughter, while Olivia struggles to hide the fact that her high-powered husband abuses her. They have no idea of the bond they all share—Maddie, recovering from congenital liver disease, is the recipient of Hannah’s daughter’s liver. When the possible connection begins to dawn on Hannah, she is determined to see that her new friend escapes her frightening situation, which soon may be dangerous to all of them. Hatvany does a marvelous job of not letting the plot get too maudlin or “ripped from the headlines,” and her characters have warmth and depth. Readers will find themselves cheering for these women. A good pick for women’s-fiction fans, particularly those who enjoy the realistic stories of Emily Giffin and Kristina Riggle. --Rebecca Vnuk
“A deftly crafted story… Hatvany compels readers to examine a diverse number of issues—death, organ donation, single parenthood, abuse, self-respect—and handles each topic with sensitivity and compassion.” (Kirkus on Safe With Me)
"Beautifully developed characterizations." (Seattle Times)
“A stirring portrait of two moms, linked by tragedy, who rescue each other in more ways than one." (Good Housekeeping)
“Hatvany does a marvelous job of not letting the plot get too maudlin or ‘ripped from the headlines,’ and her characters have warmth and depth. Readers will find themselves cheering for these women. A good pick for women’s-fiction fans, particularly those who enjoy the realistic stories of Emily Giffin and Kristina Riggle.” (Booklist)
"In Amy Hatvany's capable hands, richly drawn characters explore everything that is complex, difficult, powerful and poignant about being a mother, a daughter, a friend. Safe With Me is an extraordinary look behind the curtain into the very private pains of women, and the hope that endures when you survive the unthinkable. It will remind you that the human spirit can triumph over all, and you will wish you could reach directly into these pages and hug the heroines." (Stacey Ballis author of Off the Menu)
"Amy Hatvany is a strong new voice in contemporary women's fiction. Safe With Me is a compelling, thought-provoking novel about three women learning from each other as they navigate through a terrain filled with both tragedy and opportunity." (Kristin Hannah #1 New York Times bestselling author)
"Beautiful and deeply moving, Amy Hatvany writes about the tangled web of family in a way that makes you laugh, cry, cheer and ache. This book has so much heart." (Sarah Jio New York Times bestselling author of Blackberry Winter)
"Equally heartbreaking and heart-pounding, Amy Hatvany's SAFE WITH ME puts her in the very fine company of Jodi Picoult as an author who takes tender real-life moments and compels the reader to care until the very last page. A book that will stick with you for days." (Allison Winn Scotch New York Times bestselling author of The Time of My Life)
“The novel explores myriad themes sure to appeal to fans of women’s fiction: love and loss, parenthood, grief, friendship, and complex family dynamics. Hatvany’s compassion for each female character is evident throughout, and readers will find their hearts, at times, breaking in three.” (Booklist)
“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…An uplifting and heartwarming experience.” (Kirkus Reviews)
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But in one pivotal moment, twelve-year-old Emily is killed--struck by a car in front of their house. Submerged in grief, Hannah at first rejects the idea of donating Emily's organs, but then changes her mind.
Now, a year later, she is still struggling with her grief and loss. She has moved from the Seattle home she shared with her daughter to an apartment over the new salon she is renovating. Her one friend and partner, Sophie, continues to manage the downtown salon.
Then one day, a woman and her teenaged daughter walk into the newly opened salon that Hannah owns, and she feels an instant connection to Olivia and Maddie. How will Hannah discover just what binds them together? And as Hannah and Olivia grow closer, what dirty secrets does Hannah discover are hiding behind the doors of the upscale home where Olivia, Maddie, and her husband James live? What will finally bring the truth to light?
Narrated from Hannah's, Olivia's, and Maddie's perspective, Safe with Me: A Novel was an emotionally engaging read that had me eagerly turning pages. While the coincidences of the story seemed a bit convenient, I absolutely loved the tale anyway, hoping against hope that there would be a satisfactory resolution. Five stars.
A year later the three meet and begin to help each other to find a way out of the darkness and into the light. How they are able to get to this light is the meat of this story. By telling it with three distinct voices the author makes it possible for the reader to really understand what is going on in Hannah's grief stricken mind. As well as what it feels like to be Olivia, who walks on eggshells at home while trying to help Maddie make the most of her second chance at life. And Maddie who is now a healthy, normal teenager except she has no idea how to be a healthy normal teenager after being sick for most of her life.
There are some small things that made me decide to give the book 4 stars instead of 5 but overall I enjoyed it very much and would absolutely recommend it.
I ALS felt that the abusive relationship that she lived with by her father was expressed very well. All the female characters were strong and the mothers were really living that protective shield that every mother feels. An amazing story.