Saturday, 5 March 2016

Review: Somewhere Out There by Amy Hatvany

What happens when two sisters who were torn apart when their young mother abandoned them—and grew up in tragically different circumstances—reunite thirty-five years later to find her? For readers who love Jodi Picoult, acclaimed author Amy Hatvany fearlessly explores complex family issues in her gripping, provocative new novel.

Natalie Clark knew never to ask her sensitive adoptive mother questions about her past. She doesn’t even know her birth mother’s name—only that the young woman signed parental rights over to the state when Natalie was a baby. Now Natalie’s own daughter must complete a family tree project for school, and Natalie is determined to unearth the truth about her roots.

Brooke Walker doesn’t have a family. At least, that’s what she tells herself after being separated from her mother and her little sister at age four. Having grown up in a state facility and countless foster homes, Brooke survives the only way she knows how, by relying on herself. So when she discovers she’s pregnant, Brooke faces a heart-wrenching decision: give up her baby or raise the child completely on her own. Scared and confused, she feels lost until a surprise encounter gives her hope for the future.

How do our early experiences—the subtle and the traumatic—define us as adults? How do we build relationships when we’ve been deprived of real connection? Critically acclaimed author Amy Hatvany considers controversial and complicated questions about childhood through the lens of her finely crafted characters in this astute novel about mending wounds by diving into the truth of what first tore us apart.

Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Expected publication: March 8th 2016 by Washington Square Press 
Genre: Fiction/Womens Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

I have read quite a few books by Amy Hatvany but it's been a while and I forgot. I forgot how much I loved her writing and I forgot how her stories make me feel. Then I read Somewhere Out There and I remembered why she is a favourite author of mine. She always leaves me emotional and satisfied.

Somewhere Out There tells the story of a broken family that was separated by time and circumstances. Jennifer found herself in trouble with the law and unable to care for her two daughters, four and six months, and did the only thing she could think of that would give them a good life. She gave up her rights so that they could be raised by people that could give them what she couldn't. The only thing that kept her going was knowing that they had each other. Little did she know that the girls would be separated with one getting adopted and the other spending years in the system. Told from Jennifer, Brooke and Natalie's perspective the reader learns about the years after that fateful night and the impact it had on all of them.

I'm not sure what I can say that will do this book justice. It was absolutely beautiful. The story flowed seamlessly and I couldn't put it down. Hatvany has a way of penning characters that makes you love them and care about what happens to them. That was certainly the case with Jennifer, Brooke and Natalie. This was a family drama that I won't soon forget. There was so much emotion and depth that I found myself with a lump in my throat on more than one occasion. It was a story of heartbreak and loss but also a story of love, healing and forgiveness.

I loved every minute of it!

About the Author
Amy Hatvany 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 YOU was published in 2000 by Bantam Doubleday. THE LANGUAGE OF SISTERS was picked up by NAL in 2002. (Both titles published under "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.) 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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