Monday, February 6, 2012

Book Review: Outside the Lines

By Amy Bromberg

If you had a parent that was constantly unreliable and then one day disappears altogether, would you spend your precious time searching for them? This is exactly what Eden does, and ends up encountering on the way much more than she ever expected to.

When Eden was ten years old she found her father, David, bleeding out on the bathroom floor. The suicide attempt led to her parents’ divorce, and David all but vanished from Eden’s life. Since childhood, she has heard from him only rarely, just enough to know he’s been living on the streets and struggling with mental illness. But lately, there has been no word at all.Now in her thirties, Eden decides to go look for her father, so she can forgive him at last, and finally move forward. When her search uncovers other painful truths—not only the secrets her mother has kept from her, but also the agonizing question of whether David, after all these years, even wants to be found—Eden is forced to decide just how far she’ll go in the name of love. (Synopsis courtesy of

"Outside the Lines" is an amazingly powerful and emotional novel. It visits intense issues, such as the dynamics of family relationships, coping with a parent who suffers from mental illness, fears of abandonment and the boundaries of love. There are many details I’d like to share but because this is a review (not a “book” of the review), I will choose the few that touched me the most.

Before David tries to commit suicide, there are multiple times he walks out on Eden and her mother. Unlike her mother, Eden always tries to see the good in her father, because she truly believes he’s a gentle and good-hearted man. She knows deep down inside he will get better, and be the daddy he used to be. But he keeps proving her wrong. What a heavy burden for a child to carry. And having to witness shameful glances from neighbors, and hear from friends that because of her dad’s behavior and issues, their moms won’t let them play together anymore. Unfortunately we see this often in today’s society, a child being robbed from a happy childhood, because of a strained family issue, that they have nothing to do with. It’s unfair that children have to suffer because of their parents actions.

Because Eden’s father abandoned her at a young age, she has trust and intimacy issues. But that all changes when Eden starts volunteering at the homeless shelter and meets Jack. I admire Eden for taking a chance on learning to love again.

"Outside the Lines" is a diamond in the rough that touched me deeply. It is a spellbinding story filled with romance, heartache, love, tenderness and compassion. If I were Amy’s publicist, I would work my tail off in trying to get this movie rights because it would make an unbelievable Oscar-worthy film.

Amy Hatvany is visiting CLC tomorrow and some lucky US readers have a chance to win a copy of this amazing novel!

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Alexa S. said...

Wow. This sounds like a book that packs a solid emotional punch - but I would definitely read it.

Unknown said...

This sounds like a powerful, emotionally-charged book. My heart goes out to Eden and I want to know the rest of her story. Her father sure doesn't deserve her love and she deserves a better father. Unfortunately we cannot pick them.
Thank you for a wonderful and intriguing review. I will read this book...soon I hope.

Unknown said...

Certainly does sound good and I'm always up for a good cry. Seriously, I love books that make you feel....sad, happy, angry, elated.......and the sad ones are special somehow.