Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer
St. Martin's Press: 4/9/19
eBook review copy; 384 pages
Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer is a recommended domestic medical thriller.
Becky Gerard is a devoted mother who only wants her only child,
Meghan, to be well and healthy, but Meghan has been struggling with a
mysterious, undiagnosed illness. Becky has learned the medical jargon
and made personal connections with specialists while trying to help
Meghan. Carl, Becky's husband and Meghan's father, doubts Becky's
motives. He thinks she is obsessed and making Meghan ill by her
treatment of her.
When Becky meets with several new specialists she gets a new
diagnosis for Meghan and a diagnosis for herself. While one specialist,
Dr. Zach Fisher, believes Meghan has mitochondrial disease, another more
powerful MD, Dr. Amanda Nash, believes Becky has Munchausen
syndrome by proxy and maneuvers the situation for the state to take
custody of Meghan. Now Becky is fighting for the life of her child and
The narrative is told through several different characters, including
Becky, Meghan, and Zach, with Becky being the main narrator. Becky and
Carl both are rude and unpleasant characters, although we are repeatedly
told how darn attractive they are and how much this matters to everyone
they encounter. Becky is such an annoying character - egotistical,
privileged, and manipulative - that it is difficult to muster sympathy
for her. It is clear, from the start, that Becky will be accused of
Munchausen's. She is so unlikable that it is easy to believe except for
snippets from Meghan's narrative which suggest something else is going
on in her family.
The writing is good, in spite of the unpleasant characters. This is a
medical thriller that will pass the time if you simple overlook the
traits of the characters and just follow the plot. There are some twists
and surprises, however the pacing is a little slow at times. While
there is a lot of medical jargon, it does serve to highlight Becky's
obsession with Meghan's medical condition which helps to make Becky's
diagnosis believable. This was a 3.5 for me, but I'm rounding down
because the novel was a chore to read at certain junctures. A strong
airplane book choice.
My review copy was courtesy of St. Martin's Press.