Book Title and Author: Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer
Publication Date and Publisher: April 9, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Thriller, Fiction, Family Drama
Pages: 384 pages
Buy on Amazon.com
Date Read: March 13, 2019 (e-arc)
Can you love someone to death?
Some would say Becky Gerard is a devoted mother and would do anything for her only child. Others claim she’s obsessed and can’t stop the vicious circle of finding a cure at her daughter’s expense.
Fifteen-year-old Meghan has been in and out of hospitals with a plague of unexplained illnesses. But when the ailments take a sharp turn, doctors intervene and immediately suspect Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a rare behavioral disorder where the primary caretaker, typically the mother, seeks medical help for made-up symptoms of a child. Is this what’s going on? Or is there something even more sinister at hand?
Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer is a quick, enjoyable read that is less of the thriller that I expected and more of a family/medical drama with a highly sinister, twisted plot!
Having a sick child is a nightmare…even when your child has a fever, the flu, an ear infection, you hate it and will do anything to make them feel better and when they are in the hospital, forget about it! You’ll move mountains to get your child the best care possible! Just ask Becky Gerard, mom, to 15-year-old Meghan! There is nothing she won’t do to make sure she finds out what is wrong with her extremely sick teenage daughter because she KNOWS Meghan is sick, very sick, despite numerous visits to many different doctors and specialists, hospital visits, tests–oh the tests and the bloodwork, so much of it that Meghan is now beyond terrified of needles!
Becky is so obsessed and manipulative when it comes to getting answers about what is wrong with Meghan that when the possibility is brought up by one of Meghan’s newest Drs that the tests are either finding nothing wrong or all inconclusive because there’s nothing actually wrong with Meghan and instead Becky’s guilty of Munchausen syndrome by proxy—actually making her daughter sick in order to get attention for herself, it wasn’t very hard to believe that could be the truth…Or is it?
This is a story with some interesting twists as it becomes a fight for Becky to save and protect her daughter and for the hospital to feel they have to do the same! Who is right in this medical drama? What explains all of Meghan’s symptoms of chronic headaches, severe fatigue, weakness, appetite loss, and fragility that can’t be explained by any bloodwork, test, or doctor examination? Is it Becky causing them? Is it a new diagnosis from a new doctor? Or is something more sinister than even Munchausen syndrome by proxy happening?
While I enjoyed this one quite a bit, I thought at times that it was too drawn out and was repetitive in places. I had a lot of the story figured out after Becky was accused of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, including who was involved with a certain character and what was causing Meghan to be overtly ill at certain times. Still, the ending is dramatic, page-turning, and extremely satisfying.
D.J. Palmer is definitely a writer who can tell an excellent story and his writing skills, even though there were some things that I didn’t love about the book, are really excellent, so I look forward to what he writes next! If you like family dramas, medical dramas, psychological suspense, then I recommend you grab this one! It releases on April 9, 2019!
**Thank you, NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC to read in exchange for my fair and honest review.**