In Keep You Safe by Melissa Hill, As a nurse, widow Kate O’Hara knew the issues her young daughter Rosie would likely face once they found out she was allergic to something used in most vaccines. But knowing that most parents make sure their children are immunized, Kate hoped her daughter would remain healthy once she entered school. But the unthinkable happens when a girl in the same class as Rosie contracts the measles. A few days later, Rosie shows the signs of the virus herself and soon Kate is in a mad dash to keep her daughter’s health from failing at an alarming rate.
‘Two children, both unvaccinated. One for health reasons, the other by choice. Two sick little girls. One who’d recovered, seemingly effortlessly. Another still fighting…’
Madeleine Harrington is riding high on the success of her parenting blog, including being asked to appear on t.v. of all things. She knows her views and opinions are a hit with the majority of mothers out there but there are a few who look down their noses at her lackadaisical approach. But Madeleine never thought her and her husband’s decision to not vaccinate their daughter Clara would come back to haunt them in such a dramatic way. When little Clara gets the measles, and so does her unprotected classmate, everything starts to go downhill for the Harringtons. And Madeleine isn’t sure how to fix the mess they’ve unknowingly created.
‘Couldn’t she see that Madeleine had never meant for any of this to happen, had done nothing wrong and was desperately sorry about the outcome?’
Keep You Safe was a thought-provoking novel that had me swept up in all of the controversy and tough decisions two mothers had to wade through in order to do what they thought was best for their children.
For me, this was the kind of book that, even though I don’t have children of my own, really had a way of drawing me in and made me think what I would do if I were in the same position as Kate or Madeleine. I loved how author Melissa Hill showed this from various POVs. I felt like it helped to see exactly where each character was coming from–especially the moms. And that’s also what made it easier for me sympathize with them both, surprisingly even at times when I didn’t agree with how something was being handled (mainly with Madeleine). But at least we could see the thought process they went through and then how they dealt with the consequences of their decisions.
There was a fair amount going on here in regard to personal relationships as well. Friendships were put to the test, family members were at odds, the entire community was weighing in with their opinions and picking sides. I think across the board, though, readers will likely be able to commiserate with Kate for her little girl Rosie getting so very sick and it will pull at your heartstrings. I’ll admit to having a bit of a love/hate relationship with Madeleine and her husband over their attitude and actions at times. But I think even they became more real and human by the end of the book.
Whether you are for or against immunizations in your own life, I thought Melissa Hill really did well to point out each part of what makes this such a hot topic in the world today. She showed every side of the argument as well as how it could tear apart a quiet little Irish community in the blink of an eye.
Heart-wrenching and compelling, Keep You Safe was a fictional story that packed an impressive emotional punch. And I have to say it had one of the sweetest endings I’ve read in a while, one which had me sniffling back happy tears. Definitely recommended.
A mother always knows best. Doesn’t she?
For single mother Kate O’Hara, there was no decision to make. Her daughter, Rosie, is one of a small percentage of children with a disorder that prevents them from being immunized. All Kate can do is hope that herd immunity keeps the disease at bay and her little girl safe.
For Madeleine Harrington, vaccinations were a leap of faith she wasn’t prepared to take. Which was why, following much soul-searching, she and her husband declined controversial measles shots for their daughter, Clara. All she can do is pray that it was the right decision, and if her little girl becomes sick, she gets through it unscathed.
But when both girls wind up in the same elementary school class, telltale red spots appear on Clara Harrington’s chest, and on Rosie’s a few days after. When one child recovers as the other’s health becomes more critical, the two mothers find themselves across a very deep divide—when all they wanted was to keep their children safe.
A stunning, addictive and powerful new book club read that explores every mother’s worst fear and hardest decision from beloved Irish bestselling author Melissa Hill.