Review ~ Outside The Lines by Amy Hatvany

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Washington Square Press; Original edition (February 7, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1451640544
Buy:  Amazon, The Book Depository, IndieBoundy
I received a copy of Outside The Lines from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

outside-the-lines
 

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 ~ 

  • If there is one thing that can’t be denied,  it’s the fact that Eden has always loved and adored her father. She looks up to him as only a young girl can do with her daddy. She got her love for cooking from him and always remembers the times the spent together in the kitchen. While she knows that he’s not “right” mentally, she knows that he’s trying to be the best person he knows how to be.  And she firmly believes that her love and dedication is enough to save him.

    David is a brilliant artist. His work is beautiful; he has no trouble selling his pieces. Of course, that’s when he is able to get work done, when the mental illness he is battling hasn’t taken complete control of his life. He tries so hard to be “normal”, to take his meds and be a productive member of society. But he hates how the meds make him feel. He loses his creativity, he feels sluggish, like he’s lost the essence of who he is. And then a tragic event occurs, and David leaves the family home, never to be heard from again.

    Eden is settled and happy in her life ~ for the most part. She loves her home, her dog, and her job at the catering company. She has good friends, a half-brother, stepfather, and the typical mother-daughter relationship. There are two things that are lacking in her life. She wants someone to share her life with and more importantly, she wants to find her father. She spends her spare time visiting hospitals, shelters, and places where the homeless are known to live, hoping to find her daddy. She has even gone so far as leaving his description at the local morgues, asking to be called if they think he might be there.  

    One day Eden visits a new shelter near her work with the sole intention of putting up a picture of her father. What she doesn’t expect to find is a new purpose, a new calling, a way to make a difference for those that may have been considered forgotten.  She finds a greater understanding, more compassion for her father and his situation. But will that knowledge lead her to what she yearns for most? Or will she think she knows best and potentially do more harm than good? Will Eden be able let go of the past and open the door to her future? 

    Alternating between David and Eden’s point of view, we are able to see both side of what happens to a family when one person suffers from mental illness. We see David’s need to make his own choices in regards to taking or not taking his medication and to living his life the way he chooses, whether it conforms to society norms or not.  We see Eden’s desperate need to find and “fix” her father, whether he wants to be fixed or not.

    Outside The Lines is an emotional family drama that fully explores the impact mental illness has on not only the one living with it, but on the entire family. It tells of one man’s struggle to find the balance between choosing the path that make him the “happiest” or doing what everyone else considers to be best for the family unit. It’s the story of one woman (who is still a little girl at heart when it comes to her daddy) with a desperate desire to find her father and make him well. With the love and support of friends and family, Eden sets off on the journey of a lifetime. Outside The Lines is a tender-hearted story of love, loss, and the idea that maybe some things truly are better left alone.

About the author ~

Amy was born in Seattle, WA in 1972, the youngest of three children. She graduated from Western Washington University in 1994 with a degree in Sociology only to discover most sociologists are unemployed. Soon followed a variety of jobs – some of which she loved, like decorating wedding cakes; others which she merely tolerated, like receptionist. In 1998, Amy finally decided to sell her car, quit her job, and take a chance on writing books.

The literary gods took kindly to her aspirations and THE KIND OF LOVE THAT SAVES YOUwas published in 2000 by Bantam Doubleday. THE LANGUAGE OF SISTERS was picked up by NAL in 2002. (Both were published under her previous last name, Yurk.)

Amy spends most of her time today with her second and final husband, Stephan. (Seriously, if this one doesn’t work out, she’s done, kaput, no more husbands.) She stays busy with her two children, Scarlett and Miles, and her “bonus child,” Anna. Their blended family also includes two four-legged hairy children, commonly known as Black Lab mutts, Kenda and Dolcé.

When Amy’s not with friends or family, she is most likely reading, cooking, or zoning out on certain reality television shows. Top Chef is a current favorite. She eagerly awaits auditions for the cast of “Top Author.” (“Quick Edit” instead of “Quick Fire” Challenge? C’mon, producers! That’s gripping television!) 

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Email ~ amy AT amyhatvany DOT com

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Comments

  1. Cheziannhe says:

    I want to know more about Outside The Lines by Amy Hatvany and I am really interested with this…Thank you for the review here…
    Cheziannhe recently posted..Gout CuresMy Profile

  2. Donna Rondo says:

    Sounds really interesting I am so behind in my reading. I will have to catch up. I recently posted posted about Villains which is really good.

  3. Very impressive creation, especially knowing that Amy take a degree of sociology… Thanks for sharing with us this beautiful review…
    Beatriz recently posted..1300 numbersMy Profile

  4. Ingrid Stukey says:

    Thank you for the great Review, I can’t wait to get this Book, it sounds awesome.
    Thank you

  5. I love the creation you have posted here for us…Great review!
    Minard recently posted..advantages of teleconferencingMy Profile

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