Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Outside the Lines

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Amy Hatvany
ISBN: 978-1-4516-4054-0
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Publisher for Review
Rating: Highly Recommended

When Eden was ten years old she found her father, David, bleeding out on the bathroom floor. The suicide attempt led to her parents’ divorce, and David all but vanished from Eden’s life. Since childhood, she has heard from him only rarely, just enough to know he’s been living on the streets and struggling with mental illness. But lately, there has been no word at all.

Now in her thirties, Eden decides to go look for her father, so she can forgive him at last, and finally move forward. When her search uncovers other painful truths—not only the secrets her mother has kept from her, but also the agonizing question of whether David, after all these years, even wants to be found—Eden is forced to decide just how far she’ll go in the name of love.

My Thoughts:

Wow!  What an intensely emotional novel.  Amy Hatvany has a unique talent for creating stories based on real emotional topics that plague thousands of people across the globe.  In Outside the Lines, Hatvany sheds light on the reality of mental illness, a topic many judge when they cannot conceivably understand.  Mental illness is a disease that many struggle with on different levels, yet no one talks about it because others have preconceived notions and judgment about a topic they can’t understand until it plagues them.
When Eden decides to find her mentally ill father in effort to move on with her life, she doesn’t expect the level of emotional toll her journey will bring.  The title of this book is perfect for the storyline. Outside the lines is a poignant and heartbreaking novel that explores the affects and difficulties that come with having a loved one with a mental illness.  It is both heartbreaking and inspiring.  It captured my attention from the start.  The topic of suicide is difficult for me and I usually avoid reading about it or watching movies that contain an attempt or the final act.  While this book has an attempt in the story, it was very minor, and really didn’t take up more than a memory essential to Eden’s story.
The story is told from each characters perspective, switching voices, time frames and viewpoints and giving the reader an in depth and well-rounded look at all sides of this story both emotionally and mentally. I loved the characters in this novel. Eden is remarkable. As I watched her life unfold, secret by secret, I couldn’t help but feel for her. Everything she thought she knew changed. Eden is left with doubt about trust and faith in relationships. I loved how the author brought a character that needs healing from her past in order to have a bright future. Eden’s life isn’t complete without the truth. The truth sets us free, even if it’s difficult to hear or understand. Knowing who you are makes you stronger and for Eden this is proven in the story.
Full of relationships, guilt, love, pain, confusion, secrets and all of the emotions that make us human, Amy Hatvany builds a novel of psychological moments that prove the amazing inner workings of our minds as well as the power of our hearts.


  1. Great review (especially the last line), this book sounds intense. I love books with multiple perspectives because you just find out more about what's going on.

  2. Amazing review!! I like books that have lots of emotions, but I also like to be forwarned it there is the possibility of needing tissues. I don't like using my sleeves :) This one sounds like a book that would need my undivided attention.



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