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SheKnows book review: How to Save a Life

Kristi Diehm

Consistently attracting readers and pulling them into complex and often bittersweet stories, Sara Zarr captures readers again with the fantastic How to Save a Life.

Jill MacSweeney has been lost since the death of her father, her counterpart and her best friend. She How to save a life coverno longer recognizes herself or the Jill she used to be when her father was alive. Jill has incased herself in her grief and cut off her friends, her boyfriend and especially her mother.

When Jill’s mother announces that she is planning to adopt a baby, Jill is not only shocked but is horrified that her mother may be trying to replace her father. Along with the adoption, Jill’s mother also plans to support the teenage girl carrying the child until she has given birth.

And so enters the adoptive baby’s mother, Mandy.

Mandy has never known a real home. A home in the sense of a place where you belong, where people care about you and worry about your well-being. Mandy doesn’t want that kind of life for her baby, which is why she is hoping Jill’s mother, Robin MacSweeney, will be able to provide the kind of life she never had.

Sara Zarr delivers a story that is everything we’ve come to expect from her. It’s full of emotion, humor and inspiration. Zarr writes characters with unbelievable depth and authenticity. Jill, while cynical, is also hopeful and it balances exceptionally well with the innocence of Mandy’s character. Readers will find it effortless to relate to one or both of them.

How to Save a Life is a story that is sure to resonate with many readers.

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