From the New York Times best-selling author of Think Twice and Look Again comes an emotionally powerful novel about a split-second choice, agonizing consequences, and the need for justice. Rose McKenna volunteers as a lunch mom in her daughter Melly’s school in order to keep an eye on Amanda, a mean girl who’s been bullying her daughter. Her fears come true when the bullying begins, sending Melly to the bathroom in tears. Just as Rose is about to follow after her daughter, a massive explosion goes off in the kitchen, sending the room into chaos. Rose finds herself faced with the horrifying decision of whether or not to run to the bathroom to rescue her daughter or usher Amanda to safety. She believes she has accomplished both, only to discover that Amanda, for an unknown reason, ran back into the school once out of Rose's sight. In an instant, Rose goes from hero to villain as the small community blames Amanda’s injuries on her.
In the days that follow, Rose's life starts to fall to pieces, Amanda’s mother decides to sue, her marriage is put to the test, and worse, when her daughter returns to school, the bullying only intensifies. Rose must take matters into her own hands and get down to the truth of what really happened that fateful day in order to save herself, her marriage, and her family.
In the way that Look Again had readers and listeners questioning everything they thought they knew about family, Save Me will have them wondering just how far they would go to save the ones they love. Lisa Scottoline is writing about real issues that resonate with real women, and the results are emotional, heartbreaking, and honest.
In Save Me, Lisa Scottoline opens with a typical suburban scene Friday lunch in the school cafeteria that goes tragically awry, leaving mom Rose McKenna with an impossible choice: To save the life of her own daughter, Melly, or to rescue the girls who have been bullying Melly. Though the plot gets a little tangled and the prose sometimes crawls, narrator Cynthia Nixon best known as Miranda on Sex and the City keeps the story moving and the widespread cast of characters interesting.
When an explosion in the cafeteria kitchen sets the school on fire, Rose attempts to save both the bullies and her daughter and she thinks she’s succeeded, until one of the girls is found in the school, near death, and ends up in the ICU. The other mothers band together to harass the McKennas and a tenacious reporter starts digging into Rose’s background both of which throw Rose’s carefully-constructed suburban life into shambles and inspire her to track down the cause of the explosion.
The story starts out strong, raising smart, thought-provoking questions about how far parents should go to protect other children, the safety procedures in place at schools, and the powerful effect bullies of all ages can have on a family. But as it progresses, plotlines about corporate espionage, lifelong secrets, scandalous affairs, murder, and nut allergies cloud the original focus. Even as the story begins to drag, though, Nixon brings it to life. Her gentle narration draws listeners into the tangled plots, and her range of voices which include a third-grader suffering from smoke inhalation, a fast-talking young teacher, a perky reporter, drawling construction workers, company thugs, outraged mothers, and even a gurgling baby is impressive. She navigates the turning points in Rose’s life with genuine emotion, and leaves listeners with a powerful end product. Blythe Copeland
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The Protagonist Was Shallow and Unbelievable
- C. Byrnes
Cringe worthy listen