SAFE WITH ME by Amy Hatvany

Amy Hatvany
Available March 4th 2014
Washington Square Press

Amy Hatvany’s latest book, SAFE WITH ME, is compelling and thought-provoking. She delves into a number of intense issues including death of a child, organ donation, abuse, and self-respect. She brilliantly takes the reader on a mysterious ride with her potent story and characters.

The plot begins with a single mom, Hannah, hearing the screeching sound of tires. The next few scenes quickly move to Hannah grieving with the news that her child is brain dead, and she must immediately decide if her child will become an organ transplant donor.In an unexpected twist, Hannah and the Bell family later cross paths, with the Bells learning that their daughter Maddie survived through Hannah’s daughter’s gift of life. This small world coincidence allows for a friendship to develop between Hannah, Maddie, and her mother Olivia Bell. These three women learn from and help each other as they navigate through a life filled with tragedy and hope.

Readers will be able to identify with the well-developed characters. Olivia is a mother trapped in an abusive relationship, unable to leave for Maddie’s sake. She is forced to stay with her husband because of his financial support and is afraid he will use his powerful connections to take Maddie away from her. Maddie, a teenager who was given a second chance at life, must now face the real world instead of the pretend world of the Internet. Finally, we meet Hannah who exemplifies both dependency and strength.

She gave a heads up about her next book, which deals with loss.  The plot has a woman falsely accused and examines what she goes through emotionally. She struggles with trying to prove she is innocent while everyone else thinks she is guilty.  As in all her books she does not just examine one issue. Another issue she explores is the dynamics between a son and a father who has early dementia.

SAFE WITH ME is a very touching and heartfelt novel about death, life, and overcoming hardships. The characters’ decisions and emotions are readily identifiable. Hatvany writes the story in a way that allows the reader to sympathize and understand the circumstances of these three women. It is a very powerful read, but a word of warning: keep tissues handy.

Elise Cooper