Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Book Review: "Second Hand Heart" by Catherine Ryan Hyde

3rd book in the Transworld Summer Reading Challenge
There's something about a book cover with grass on that makes me feel happy. And having already read one book by Catherine Ryan Hyde - "Chasing Windmills", which both the Girl and I loved, I was looking forward to reading this, her latest, and it didn't disappoint.
Vida is 19 and has been about to die ever since she was born with a defective heart. Luckily for Vida, a suitable donor is found in the (heart-)shape of Lorrie who is killed in a tragic accident, leaving a shocked and grief-striken husband, Robert.
And even though I found this *tiny but infinitely important* detail a little unbelievable, the first time Robert sees Vida, she tells him she loves him.  As their individual journeys of self-discovery unfold, however, we see that this is no ordinary love - this is quite simply, (and scientifically) "from the heart". 
I was prepared for schmaltz and rather too much sentimentality and I got neither.  This was beautifully told, cleverly interwoven and I couldn't have been more delighted if it had proper, living grass on the cover.   It makes you think more deeply about the imprints we are unaware of making on the lives we lead, and more interestingly, of the impressions we are creating within our individual genetic make-up. A fascinating premise and a lovely book.  Highly recommended.


Talli Roland said...

Glad to hear you liked this one! It's on my list, too. Right now I'm reading 'If I Stay'.

Debs Riccio said...

Oooh how are you enjoying it, Talli? Both me (or is it I?) and the Girl enjoyed this - although there seems to be a lot of dead and/or dying teens out there right now, doesn't there?
I heard from the Transworld lady, Lynsey today that they're thinking of running another of these challenges in Autumn/Winter - woo hoo!

Fionnuala said...

Oh God...another one to go on the to read pile!

Debs Riccio said...

lol, Fi - you should see MY piles!