Author: Amy Hatvany
Publication Date: February 7, 2012
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 Eden’s life. Since childhood, she has heard from him only rarely, just enough to know he’s 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 she’ll go in the name of love.
I knew when I saw the cover for Outside the Lines that this book was going to be right up my alley. Sometimes you can just tell. Well, I was right. Between the gorgeous cover is a giant game of raw, emotional and personal tug-o-war for not only our main character, Eden, but also her father, David. Told in alternating chapters between Eden, then and now, and also David, then and now, we get a first hand look at how having a parent with a mental disease can and will shape your entire life.
After a gruesome event when Eden was just ten years old, her father, David, disappeared from her life. Now, twenty years later, Eden realizes that life is too short for grudges and sets out to find her father. As she searches, we get glimpses into her past as a child while her father was still living at home and the roller-coaster of a life they had together. We hear from Eden's point of view, and also from David's point of view in order to get the clear picture.
Having my own parent with a mental illness, I was immediately drawn to Eden. I knew how life had been for her and it was very easy to connect with her. Even though she is now a grown woman, she is still suffering from what happened all those years ago. But as her search progresses, we see her finally starting to trust others and even her own feelings and finally start to come into her own. She was strong, yet vulnerable, funny and quite a likable character.
Surprisingly, I was also able to connect with David. Sometimes you can want to do all the right things but your body is just dead set against it. Like I said before, I've seen this illness with my own eyes and I know that even though you know what is right for that person and want to get them all the help they need, sometimes you have to just accept them for who they are and let it go. That is how I felt with David. He knew he had something wrong in his mind but he still tried his hardest to be the father that Eden needed. You really feel his pain along with him and throughout the entire book you are just crossing your fingers that he has gotten well.
Among Eden and David is a great group of side characters, along with an intense look at what life is like for those who may find themselves without a home. Outside the Lines will leave you thinking of ways you can help, along with a possible new view on those living with a mental illness.
I really can't recommend this book enough. If you love family drama, chick lit or are just looking for an amazing read, this is the book for you.