- Paperback: 350 pages
- Publisher: Lake Union Publishing; Reprint edition (May 1, 2016)
On the night of Alex Carmody’s sixteenth birthday, she and her best friend, Cass, are victims of a terrible car accident. Alex survives; Cass doesn’t. Consumed by grief, Alex starts cutting school and partying, growing increasingly detached. The future she’d planned with her friend is now meaningless to her.
Meg Carmody is heartbroken for her daughter, even as she’s desperate to get Alex’s life back on track. The Birches, a boarding school in New Hampshire, promises to do just that, yet Alex refuses to go. But when Meg finds a bag of pills hidden in the house, she makes a fateful call to a transporter whose company specializes in shuttling troubled teens to places like The Birches, under strict supervision. Meg knows Alex will feel betrayed—as will her estranged husband, who knows nothing of Meg’s plans for their daughter.
When the transport goes wrong—and Alex goes missing—Meg must face the consequences of her decision and her deception. But the hunt for Alex reveals that Meg is not the only one keeping secrets.
“A powerful story about a mother’s efforts to save a daughter; a story about love and family and betrayal. A perfect book club book!” — Susan Breen, author of “The Fiction Class” and “Maggie Dove: A Mystery.”
I ask you, is there anything more nerve-wracking for a parent than to watch your child suffer or make mistakes. And I'll go ahead and answer. Yes. Having them disappear. Meg Carmody must suffer through both in Deliver Her by Patricia Perry Donovan.
Sometimes there is a spouse to help shoulder the load. Sometimes there is not. In this case, the parents are separated and in a last-ditch effort to 'save' her daughter, Meg arranges to have her daughter sent to a boarding school specializing in troubled young adults. There is an accident due to weather on the way to the school and the daughter disappears, although it appears she left a scarf by the side of the road as a marker to where the vehicle lay down the hill.
My heart was just about in my throat for much of the book. I've always said that I can pretty much roll with any punches except for as concerns the safety and well-being of my children. Ms. Donovan does a masterful job of keeping the tension appropriately throughout the book. In a sense, this was as suspenseful as any spy thriller (which I also love).
The mother (Meg), her erstwhile husband and their daughter each grow and change throughout the book. They are not the people they were when they started. One choice made by the daughter at the end did surprise me...but it was a good surprise.
This book will interest any parent who is at their wit's end (or at least thinks they are), any teen who wonders what aliens have replaced her parents, and anyone who likes a strong family element in their fiction.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Patricia Perry Donovan is an American journalist who writes about healthcare. Her fiction has appeared at Gravel Literary, Flash Fiction Magazine, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable and in other literary journals. The mother of two grown daughters, she lives at the Jersey shore with her husband.
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(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.)