Friday, August 13, 2010

HEART TO HEART by Lurlene McDaniel

Lurlene McDaniel's newest novel explores the idea of cellular memory as experienced by some transplant patients.

Kassey and Elowyn are best friends.  They have grown up together playing on the same teams, having sleepovers, and even vacationing together.  They can finish each others' thoughts and sentences.  They are almost inseparable until the night Elowyn runs off the road and hits a tree. 

A traumatic brain injury puts Elowyn in a coma and leaves her parents with the difficult decision of honoring her request to be an organ donor.  Her family and friends are devastated, but their tragedy is the answer to Arabeth's prayers. 

Arabeth has suffered with a crippling heart condition for years.  She and her mother have supported each other through the death of Arabeth's father in Afghanistan, and now Arabeth is struggling to hang on as she waits for a heart transplant.  Elowyn's accident provides that heart, and Arabeth and her mother will be eternally grateful. 

Almost immediately after the transplant, Arabeth begins having unexplainable experiences.  She suspects it might be associated with receiving the heart of another young teen, but she is hesitant to share her thoughts until she meets two of Elowyn's good friends, Kassey and Wyatt.  The feelings and sensations are rather unsettling, and cause emotional stress that could threaten Arabeth's peace of mind about surviving with the heart of another.

Lurlene McDaniel fans will be thrilled with HEART TO HEART.  It examines life, love, and loss from several perspectives.  It's a sure success for those looking for an emotionally stirring read.

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