Outside the Lines

Amy Hatvany. Washington Square, $15 trade paper (358p) ISBN 978-1-4516-4054-0
In Hatvany’s latest (after Best Kept Secret), vivid and flawed characters struggle with the complexities of family, friends, and lovers. Seattle caterer and budding restaurateur Eden West is on a mission to find her father and maybe fix her love life in the bargain. After a suicide attempt 20 years ago, Eden’s father, a manic-depressive, alcoholic painter, disappeared. Now, incapable of a successful relationship, Eden is determined to find out what has become of him. For help, she visits a homeless shelter, Hope House, and tumbles into a relationship with its director, who urges her to volunteer her culinary services. Hatvany unfolds her tale over two time periods and from the perspectives of both Eden and her father, which eventually helps to enrich and complicate the adult Eden. Family secrets and Eden’s inability to accept her father will keep readers guessing, and the evolution of Eden’s relationships with her mother, stepfather, and new boyfriend lends credence to the ending. A palpable love story, emotional search for and acceptance of a lost parent, and a bittersweet ending make for an enveloping, heartfelt read. Agent: Victoria Sanders. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/2011
Release date: 02/07/2012
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4423-6190-4
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-4516-4055-7
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