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Authors: Amy Hatvany

Heart Like Mine

BOOK: Heart Like Mine
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Praise for
Outside the Lines

“Will delight readers . . . vivid and written with a depth of feeling.”


Library Journal

“There are no storybook perfect endings here, but this compelling novel raises the possibility of a hopeful way forward.”


The Seattle Times

“A palpable love story, emotional search for and acceptance of a lost parent, and a bittersweet ending make for an enveloping, heartfelt read.”


Publishers Weekly

“Like a gorgeous dark jewel, Hatvany’s exquisitely rendered novel explores the tragedy of a mind gone awry, a tangled bond of father and daughter, and the way hope and love sustain us. It does what the best fiction does: it makes us see and experience the world differently.”

—Caroline Leavitt,
New York Times
bestselling author of
Pictures of You

“This extraordinary novel about a woman’s search for her lost father—and herself—touched me deeply. With her trademark insight and compassion for her characters, Amy Hatvany has written a beautiful and moving book. Were there Oscars for novels,
Outside the Lines
would sweep the categories.”

—Melissa Senate, author of
The Love Goddess’ Cooking School


Outside the Lines
offers a fascinating look at the interior of a mental illness—the exuberance and self-loathing, creativity and destruction that then reverberate against the lives of family and loved ones. Hatvany’s storyline is compelling, weaving back and forth between father and daughter, patiently explaining as it asks all the important questions.”

—Juliette Fay, author of
Shelter Me


Outside the Lines
is a tender and lovely novel that explores the boundaries of love and how we break those boundaries in its name. It’s sad and funny, heartbreaking and heartwarming. You’ll want to read this book slowly. When you’re finished, you’ll want to read it again.”


Rebecca Rasmussen, author of
The Bird Sisters

Praise for
Best Kept Secret

“One of the most compelling books I’ve read in years. This heartfelt, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting novel will start an important dialogue about the secrets we keep . . . and it could even save lives.”

—Sarah Pekkanen, author of
Skipping a Beat

“I was transfixed by Cadence and her heart-wrenching dilemma. The writing is visceral, the problems are real, and there are no clear solutions. You won’t want to put it down.”

—Emily Giffin,
New York Times
bestselling author of
Something Borrowed

“I’m telling everyone about
Best Kept Secret
. It’s the realistic and ultimately hopeful story of Cadence, whose glass of wine at the end of the day becomes two . . . then . . . three . . . then a bottle. I love that Cadence feels so familiar, she could be my neighbor, my friend, or even my sister.”

—Jennifer Weiner, #1
New York Times
bestselling author

“This gripping novel probes the darker sides of motherhood and family secrets, and proves that redemption is never out of our reach. A captivatingly honest book that you won’t soon forget.”

—Lisa Tucker, bestselling author of
Once Upon a Day

“Amy Hatvany’s powerful language, delicious imagery, and tender treatment of motherhood is a love letter to women everywhere, who try and sometimes fail, but who always get back up again. She is a gifted writer.”

—Rachael Brownell, author of
Mommy Doesn’t Drink Here Anymore

“Haunting, hopeful, and beautifully written,
Best Kept Secret
takes a brave and honest look at the slippery slope of addiction and the strength it takes to recover. I couldn’t put this book down, and I can’t stop thinking about it.”

—Allie Larkin, bestselling author of
Stay

“This novel is a testament to the power of a mother’s love. I suspect this story will resonate with more women, more mothers, than this author might ever know.”

—T. Greenwood, author of
The Hungry Season
and
This Glittering World

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Contents

Chapter 1: Grace

Chapter 2: Ava

Chapter 3: Kelli

Chapter 4: Grace

Chapter 5: Ava

Chapter 6: Kelli

Chapter 7: Ava

Chapter 8: Grace

Chapter 9: Kelli

Chapter 10: Grace

Chapter 11: Ava

Chapter 12: Grace

Chapter 13: Ava

Chapter 14: Grace

Chapter 15: Kelli

Chapter 16: Grace

Chapter 17: Ava

Chapter 18: Kelli

Chapter 19: Grace

Chapter 20: Ava

Chapter 21: Grace

Chapter 22: Ava

Chapter 23: Kelli

Chapter 24: Grace

Chapter 25: Ava

Chapter 26: Grace

Chapter 27: Ava

Chapter 28: Kelli

Chapter 29: Grace

Chapter 30: Ava

Chapter 31: Kelli

Chapter 32: Grace

Chapter 33: Kelli

Chapter 34: Ava

Chapter 35: Grace

Chapter 36: Ava

Acknowledgments

Readers Club Guide

Questions and Topics for Discussion

Enhance Your Book Club

Safe with Me
Excerpt

About Amy Hatvany

For Anna, my bonus daughter
,

who filled a space in my heart I never knew was there.

If it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.

—Leo Tolstoy,
Anna Karenina

Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back.

—Plato

Grace

Later, I would look back and wonder what I was doing the exact moment Kelli died.

When I left the house for work that morning, nothing was different. There was no sense of impending doom, no ominous soundtrack playing in the back of my mind warning me that my world was about to change. There was only Victor asleep in our bed, and me, as usual, trying my best not to wake him as I kissed him good-bye.

It was a Friday in late October, and I drove my usual route downtown, taking in the dark silhouette of the Seattle skyline etched against a coral sky. “Good morning,” I said to my assistant, Tanya, after I’d parked and entered the building. She was a stunning woman with skin the color of the deepest, richest cocoa who favored brightly hued dresses to show off her abundant curves. “A pre–Weight Watchers Jennifer Hudson,” I told my best friend, Melody, describing Tanya to her after I initially interviewed her for the job.

“Morning,” she said, so focused on whatever she was doing that she barely looked up from her computer screen. Her long red nails clackety-clacked on her keyboard. Six months ago, Tanya had been living with her two toddlers in one of our safe houses. At the time, she desperately needed to work and I desperately
needed an assistant, so we seemed like a perfect match. I’d taken over as CEO of Second Chances the previous fall, honored to take the lead in an organization that began in the early nineties as a simple twenty-four-hour support line for battered women and had slowly grown into a multifaceted program including crisis response, counseling, temporary housing, and job placement assistance. We’d even opened a thrift shop earlier that year, where our clients had first pick of donated clothes for job interviews and later, when they were ready to go out on their own, entire wardrobes. My job was to make sure that the more practical, administrative aspects of the program, like funding and staffing, ran smoothly, but the real reason I’d accepted the job was for the privilege of helping women like Tanya rebuild their shattered lives.

I set down the latte I’d bought for her at the café downstairs so it would be within her reach, then turned and walked into my office, closing the door behind me. I assumed this would be like any other day. I positioned myself at my desk, booted up my computer, and reviewed my calendar. Other than a couple of phone calls, there was only a staff meeting at two o’clock, so I got busy studying the client files Tanya had pulled for me. It was time to decide if these women were ready to make the transition from our safe houses into a place of their own. Leaving the first home where they’d felt protected was often the hardest step for victims of domestic violence; I made sure we held their hand every step of the way.

I barely looked up from my papers until a few hours later, when my cell phone vibrated in my purse. I reached for it with a skipping, happy feeling in my belly at the sight of Victor’s name on the screen. “Hi, honey,” I said, glancing down at the ring on my finger. He’d only proposed five days ago and I was still unused to the weight of it, still a little stunned that he’d asked me to marry him at all.

“Can you go pick up the kids from school for me?” Victor asked. His voice was strained and carried an urgency I didn’t recognize.

“What, I’m your fiancée now, so I don’t even get a hello?” I said, hoping I could tease him out of his seemingly ugly mood. Victor was usually the most easygoing person I knew; I wondered if something had gone wrong at work, if his head chef had called in sick or one of his busers dropped a box of wineglasses. “Is this what it’s going to be like being married to you?”

“Grace,” he said. “Seriously. I need you to pick them up and take them back to the house. Please.”

“What’s wrong?” I asked, sitting up straight in my chair. Every muscle in my body suddenly tensed, realizing this wasn’t just a case of Victor’s having a bad day.

“It’s Kelli. Her friend Diane found her a couple of hours ago. She wasn’t breathing and . . .” I heard him swallow once, hard. “She’s dead, Grace. Kelli’s dead.”

My mouth went dry.
Kelli. His ex-wife. Oh, holy shit.
All the air pressed out of my lungs; it took a moment for me to be able to speak. “Oh my
god
, Victor. What
happened
?”

“I don’t know the details yet. The medics took her to the ER and I guess I’m still listed as her emergency contact on her insurance plan, so they called me. Can you pick up the kids?”

“Of course.” I stood up, scrambling for my purse. Panic jittered in my chest, picturing their response to this news. Ava, especially, at thirteen, needing her mother so much, and Max, who was only seven and still had to talk with Kelli before he could fall asleep the nights he stayed at our house. Max and Ava, who didn’t yet know that we were engaged. Victor had told Kelli the news earlier in the week, meeting her for a cup of coffee at the restaurant while the kids were still in school. “How’d it go?” I
asked when he came home. He pressed his lips together and gave his head a brief shake. “Not great,” he said, and I hadn’t pressed him further.

“What do you want me to tell them?” I asked him now, already worried that whatever I said would be wrong.

“Nothing, yet. I’ll be home as soon as I can, but I have to go to identify her—” His voice broke, and he cleared it. “Her body.”

“Are you sure you don’t want me to go with you?” I’d never heard him so upset and felt desperate to do something to comfort him.

“No, just get the kids. Please. I’ll figure out what to say to them before I get there.”

We hung up, and I hurried outside my office. Tanya turned her gaze from her computer to me. “What’s wrong?”

BOOK: Heart Like Mine
6.01Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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