Thursday, December 29, 2016

Amy Hatvany - 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.

Comment: Months ago I saw some comments about this book in a reading forum I usually participate in. Readers were saying positive things about this story which made me curious about it. Now that I've finished reading, I feel glad I tried this new author...

This is Eden's story and the tale of her search for a beloved father with whom she lost contact when she was a child. Her father has a mental illness that makes him unstable and not always concern about the harm he is causing, despite his acknowledgment of it. Eventually her parents got a divorce and Eden thought about not caring anymore but her mother's cancer fight reminded her of the short live we have and she wants to reconnect. But does her father want to be found?

I'm surprised this book was as interesting as I ended up thinking because it has one thing that usually annoys me a bit, which is the constant change between the present time, when the action takes place, and the past, where we can see the relationship of father and child and how things got to the point where they lost contact. Also not my favorite thing was the 1st person narrator, but I liked Eden for the most part, so it wasn't difficult to follow her thoughts.

This story is quite interesting for the theme. It's not easy to find a romance with strong different elements like a character that fights metal illness. Although this is not the main focus exactly, it is enough to give us an idea of how difficult it is to live it and to understand it. Of course it's always interesting to see how Eden's personality and emotions are shaped by all this. The past sections were important only because it showed us how Eden grew up from a dreamy girl to someone more cautious and cynical.I could with just knowing about this and not really seeing it but it adds emotion and explains certain attitudes.
Another interesting thing mentioned and focused on here was what it means to work in a shelter or house that helps homeless people or those in need, this was a very good add to the story, even if it didn't have to be part of setting.

Eden is a good heroine for the most part but I admit there was part of her that seemed too detached when it came to how we read about her. She did act emotional quite often but I wasn't always as touched by her experience as I assume I could.
Obviously, being a romance reader first, one of the best elements here was the romance, it developed at a good pace and had a good conclusion but yes, I guess it could have been a bit more romantic in general.

The end was weird, meaning it wasn't as easy to go through as it could. In my opinion, it wasn't a bad ending but little details weren't totally explained or dealt with, like Eden and her father didn't really talk, Eden's brother seemed to have a love interest that we don't know how's little things that don't change the overall feel and path of the story but were there anyway...

All things considered, this was a good story, interesting, the author's voice was easy to follow, the writing fluid but yes, some things weren't as structured as they could. I don't if I want to read more by this author but maybe in the future...this was is worth a try, I guess.
Grade: 7/10

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