Synopses & Reviews
A gripping novel about a woman who sets out to find the father who left her years ago, and ends up discovering herself.
When Eden was ten years old she found her father, David, bleeding on the bathroom floor. The suicide attempt led to her parents’ divorce, and David all but vanished from Eden’s life.
Twenty years later, Eden runs a successful catering company and dreams of opening a restaurant. Since childhood, she has heard from her father only rarely, just enough to know that he’s been living on the streets and struggling with mental illness. But lately there has been no word at all. After a series of failed romantic relationships and a health scare from her mother, Eden decides it’s time to find her father, to forgive him at last, and move forward with her own life. Her search takes her to a downtown Seattle homeless shelter, and to Jack Baker, its handsome and charming director. Jack convinces Eden to volunteer her skills as a professional chef with the shelter. In return, he helps her in her quest.
As the connection between Eden and Jack grows stronger, and their investigation brings them closer to David, Eden must come to terms with her true emotions, the secrets her mother has kept from her, and the painful question of whether her father, after all these years, even wants to be found. The result is an emotionally rich and honest novel about making peace with the past—and embracing the future.
"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." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"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. This novel 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
“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
“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
“Touching, hopeful, and so real…Amy Hatvany writes with depth and compassion about a secret many have kept as she offers the miracle chance of starting over. I loved these characters and this novel.” —Luanne Rice, New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Boat
“Rarely do I find a book that stays with me long after I’ve finished it, but this is definitely one. The writing is warm, witty, thoughtful and heartbreaking, and that ending—I’m still thinking about it.” —Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, author of Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay
“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
“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
“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
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 Edens life. Since childhood, she has heard from him only rarely, just enough to know hes 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 shell go in the name of love.
About the Author
Amy Hatvany is the author of Best Kept Secret, Outside the Lines, The Language of Sisters, Heart Like Mine, and Safe with Me. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her family.