Monday, February 6, 2012

#BookReview: Outside the Lines - Amy Hatvany

All my father's secrets felt like stones in my belly. I was sure if I fell over the side of a ship, I'd sink.

Ever since she was a little girl, Eden West has kept a closely guarded secret.  Her father's mental embarrassed her more times than she cared to remember.  Causing scenes at school, in restaurants and with the neighbors, Eden knows he would do better if only he would take his medicine.

David West has no desire to take the pills that suppress his creative instincts.  He's an artists and artists should be allowed to express themselves freely.  In his heart, he wants to do right by his wife and his daughter, and he manages to in small spates.  But it's inevitable that he'll stop taking the meds and find himself right back  in a manic episode, leaving his wife and daughter to deal with the fallout.

As an adult, Eden's "daddy problems" have kept her from participating in fully functioning adult relationships.  On a mission to find the father she hasn't seen in over 20 years, she begins to volunteer at a homeless shelter, where she gains a greater understanding of the homeless and mentally ill.  

I was a fan of Amy Hatvany's from the moment I read her previous book Best Kept Secret.  Much like Jodi Picoult, Hatvany tackles difficult subjects.  In Best Kept Secret, it was alcoholism.  With Outside the Lines, it's mental illness.  Regardless of the topic, she handles it skillfully.  Much like Jodi Picoult, she tells the story from the points of view of several characters, creating a clear picture.  Unlike Picoult, Hatvany does not bog the reader down with pages and pages of detailed facts that start to read more like a medical book than a work of fiction.  Hatvany recognizes that her readers are smart enough to do in depth research if they so desire.  And they are definitely smart enough to stick with Amy Hatvany.

Published: February 2012
Disclaimer: Copy of book received from publisher.  Opinions are my own.

Theme: Daughters by John Mayer

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