Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer (4 out of 5)

Another advance sent to me by means I do not currently remember. This book isn’t out until April 9, 2019, via Macmillan Publishers. D.J. Palmer is new to the scene, but not new to the writing arena. His father is Michael Palmer, author of multiple New York Times bestselling novels. I loved the premise of the novel and most of the execution. One of the issues I identified pretty quickly and I also guessed at several things, which turned out to be on the money. As a debut novel, not too shabby.

Becky Gerard is not just a helicopter mom; she’s the runway, the airport, AND the flight crew. Her daughter Meghan has been sick for years, and no matter how many doctors she sees, tests she gets, hospitals she is admitted to, no diagnosis has been rendered. Becky is on a plane to California to see her mom on her deathbed when her husband Carl calls and tells her Meghan is back in the hospital. Becky melts down in spectacular fashion (on video, gone viral) and manages to get off the plane. When she arrives at her hospital and meets with the new team of doctors, she meets her match. One doctor believes Meghan has a rare condition, but the other hospital officials on the team believe his logic is skewed because the same condition he believes Meghan has, also killed his young son. The rest of the team basically dismiss him and decide that Meghan’s mom is guilty of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. The psychiatric wing in the hospital takes over, deduces they are correct by the answers Meghan gives them about her mom, and they call in the state. Meghan is restrained in the psychiatric ward against her will, and she’s made a ward of the state. Becky goes all mother mode and demands help. Her husband Carl turns on her and blames her for the turn of events. Is Becky batshit crazy? What’s wrong with 15-year old Meghan? Can the one doctor save her life? This was such an interesting morale question at the root of the story. It’s exactly the sort of shit you might hear about or see on the nightly news, but I haven’t read a single book where Munchausen Syndrome by proxy played a role. The way the medical ethics beat heads with the medical community and parents vs doctors was fascinating and alternately infuriating. You couldn’t help but hope this girl got relief soon. I almost didn’t know what to think of Becky as a mom and as a character, but that’s the true talent of the author. I don’t have kids, but I was sucked into it like this girl was my kid. It was ridiculously effective. Then late in the book, Palmer took a weird detour and almost blew it. Thankfully, the book didn’t pay the price. But it was close! Definitely a great pick for future book clubs, and overall, a great book about the boundaries of medical and family crises. Highly recommended.

~ by generationgbooks on January 17, 2019.

2 Responses to “Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer (4 out of 5)”

  1. I just received my copy, I’m excited to read it!!!

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