Words

Finding Safety

A tale of two mothers

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

You’ve had the best of times. You’ve seen the worst of times.

The former seems like a tissue in a hurricane: here, then whisked away in a blink, as though it never occurred. The latter is something like a car stuck in a snowstorm: you just spin in place, waiting for the right push.

Best. Worst. You’ve known them equally. And, as in the new book Safe with Me, by Seattle-based author Amy Hatvany, you know that you’ll live through both of them.

Salon owner Hannah Scott was sure she’d reminded her 12-year-old daughter, Emily, to wear her bike helmet at least a million times. A million times, and Emily usually did as she was told—except one warm afternoon when she didn’t, and was hit by a car in front of her house.

At the hospital, her daughter gone, Hannah spun in grief. What would she do without Emily? Would she consider donating Emily’s organs? It was something she’d never thought about—then again, neither were funeral arrangements for her only child.

When doctors told Olivia Bell they might finally have a liver for her 15-year-old, Maddie, she felt elation and sadness. Maddie’s illness was critical, but Olivia hated that someone else’s child had to die so hers might live. Still, it meant an end to this whole ordeal. As soon as Maddie was feeling better, Olivia could relax about that part of her life and return to the other part—her escape from her abusive husband, James.

Maddie hated the new school her father made her attend. She wasn’t tall and model-thin like the other girls at the school; bloated from anti-rejection meds and with thin, stringy hair, she was sure she’d never fit in. So when her Mom offered to take her to a new salon for a cut-and-highlight, she agreed, but she wasn’t sure if it would help her feel any better about her pathetic life.

She also wasn’t sure why she’d blurted her story to the stylist; it wasn’t like Maddie to tell a stranger about her organ transplant. But this Hannah did a good job on her hair, and she seemed like a nice person, like somebody Maddie could trust…

Uncomplicated. That’s what you want to read next: something light, easy and rather predictable, which Hatvany offers here. From the minute you start the third chapter of Safe with Me, in fact, you know what’s basically going to happen by the end. I won’t even say it, because you know.

And yet, that predictability is precisely why readers might enjoy this story: it’s like comfort food. The characters are likeable; you’ll be able to identify with the plot, if you’re a parent; and it contains gentle drama and a (dare I say it?) happy ending. Like your Mom’s famous mac-and-cheese, it feels good consuming it.

So, overall, should you read this book? If you want a floaty distraction then, yes, this will work just fine.

ICU Roof #2
More Words...
Skillshare Faire
Give as good as you get

Got a skill? Want a skill? Got a thing? Want a thing?

Skill-sharing is about teaching and learning all kinds of useful, handy and practical skills. Bartering is about offering things you have and know to receive things you do not have and do not know.

“Years ago, lots of people knew how…

more »
The Upcycle
From words to action

In The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability; Designing for Abundance, architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart continue the work begun in Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, where they set forth various ingenious schemes for recycling, endlessly, everything humans…

more »
The Bright Hour
A memoir that matters

Recommendation: If you want to transform a traumatic life event into something bright and even beautiful, ask a poet to tell the story. At 37 years old and the mother of two small sons, poet Nina Riggs was diagnosed with breast cancer—just “one small spot”—that within a year turned…

more »
Events
Today
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Dog Day Afternoon

3:30pm|South Whatcom Library

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Try Something New

6:30pm|Mount Vernon City Library

Back to School Night

6:30pm|Lynden Library

Books on Tap

7:00pm|North Fork Brewery

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Comedy Open Mic

7:30pm|Shakedown

Salsa Night

9:30pm|Cafe Rumba

Village Books
Tomorrow
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market

3:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

Peaceful Poetry Workshop and Contest

4:30pm|Village Books

Women's Rock Climbing Basics

6:00pm|REI

Exploring Vegan Flavors

6:30pm|Whatcom Humane Society

Creekside Open Mic

6:30pm|South Whatcom Library

Autumn Soups for the Body and Soul

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Seattle Quartet

7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

BOB_2017 MBT Janis Joplin
Thursday
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Lynden Farmers Market

12:00pm|Front Street

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Together for Peace

6:00pm|Majestic

Stream Tour

6:00pm|Whatcom Creek

Trash Talk

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Balkan Folk Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Chuckanut Radio Hour with Nancy Pearl

7:00pm|Village Books

Travel Talk

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

The Addams Family Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Authentic Illusionist Jay Ownehouse

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

see our complete calendar »

Trove BOB_2017 MBT Janis Joplin Village Books 2020 Solutions Sept 2017 Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Bellingham Farmer’s Market