If you save someone’s life, do you become responsible for them?
When Anna receives a letter from Adam, thanking her for saving his son Max’s life with a bone-marrow donation, it’s the first positive thing that’s happened to her for a long time. Grief-stricken at the recent loss of her baby, she’s failed to give life in the past. Now this four-year-old boy is alive and healthy because of her: it’s a heady realization.
Anna is desperate to get to know Max, yet terrified at how responsible she feels for him. So she decides not to tell anyone about him or that she’s arranged to meet his father. Soon she is immersed in a complicated double life, spending half the week with her husband, who believes her to be filming out of town, and the other half with Adam and Max.
But Anna has lied to Adam about who she is. And she’s lied about her marriage. And soon these lies will catch up with her…
I’m catching up with some overdue reviews, starting with Louise Voss’s Lifesaver. I actually won the Lifesaver audiobook in a competition Louise ran over on her Facebook page. This version was updated and republished in April 2015. Whilst this novel is more women’s fiction, so doesn’t fall into my usual genre, the subject included an element close to my heart (bone marrow donation), and Louise is an excellent story-teller, so I thought I had nothing to lose.
And I was right! This isn’t a fast paced novel, but the story develops nicely, with engaging characters and a very interesting premise. It’s one of those books where you can see the protagonist, Anna, digging herself deeper and deeper into trouble, but unlike a lot of books, it’s very clear to the reader why Anna makes the choices she makes. This means there’s no frustration with the story, and you’re not left with the feeling that any literary devices have been used to set characters up. The opposite, really; things all flow nicely. With the story that is, certainly not for Anna!
I also think the ending was well done. With this type of story, it can all feel a little twee, and it was satisfying when things didn’t quite go as expected. The author did a skillful job. The audiobook was narrated by Caitlin Thorburn, who I also thought performed well.
As I said, not my usual fare, but as I have come to expect from Louise Voss, a very enjoyable and entertaining story.