Saving Meghan: A Novel

Saving Meghan: A Novel

by D.J. Palmer

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Overview

Saving Meghan is a riveting new thriller full of secrets and lies from author D.J. Palmer.

Can you love someone to death?

Some would say Becky Gerard is a devoted mother and would do anything for her only child. Others, including her husband Carl, claim she's obsessed and can't stop the vicious circle of finding a cure at her daughter's expense.

Fifteen-year-old Meghan has been in and out of hospitals with a plague of unexplained illnesses. But when the ailments take a sharp turn, clashing medical opinions begin to raise questions about the puzzling nature of Meghan’s illness. Doctors suspect Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a rare behavioral disorder where the primary caretaker seeks medical help for made-up symptoms of a child. Is this what's going on? Or is there something even more sinister at hand?

As the Gerards grow more and more suspicious of each other and their medical team, Becky must race against time to prove her daughter has a deadly disease. But first, she must confront her darkest fears and family secrets that threaten to not only upend her once-ordered life…but to destroy it.

Praise for Saving Meghan:

"Plenty of twists...will keep you turning the pages as you guess...and guess again." —Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author of After Anna

"An acute, sensitive portrayal of family love under extreme stress...[with] a touch of Hitchcock." —William Landay, New York Times bestselling author of Defending Jacob

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250107480
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/09/2019
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 2,605
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

D.J. PALMER is the author of numerous critically acclaimed suspense novels, including Delirious and Desperate. After receiving his master’s degree from Boston University, he spent a decade as an e-commerce pioneer before turning his attention to writing. He lives with his wife and two children in New Hampshire where he is currently at work on his next novel.
D.J. Palmer is the author of numerous critically acclaimed suspense novels, including Delirious and Desperate. After receiving his master’s degree from Boston University, he spent a decade as an e-commerce pioneer before turning his attention to writing. He lives with his wife and two children in New Hampshire.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

BECKY

Panic gripped her as the airplane's hatch door closed. Her heartbeat skittered against the tightness stretched across her chest. The air tasted stale, harder to take in as her breathing turned rapid and shallow. A thin sheen of sweat dampened her face and coated her body. Her skin stuck to the seat's faux leather upholstery like adhesive. Becky Gerard thought to herself: I've made a terrible mistake.

A composed flight attendant, appropriately attired in a blue uniform with a matching silk scarf, spoke through an intercom.

"Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Katrina, and I'll be your chief flight attendant on this six-and-a-half-hour flight from Boston's Logan Airport to Los Angeles. The cabin doors are now closed, so kindly make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright positions and your seat belt is securely fastened low and tight across your lap. Also, please note at this time we respectfully ask that you power down and store all portable electronic devices until we've reached our cruising altitude."

Becky focused on the portable electronic device clutched in her hand. Instead of powering it down, she held the device low against her leg to keep it out of Katrina's sight. The phone was Becky's lifeline to the outside world, her conduit to what mattered most — her daughter, Meghan.

The plane jolted as it pulled away from the gate and soon after began a slow taxi toward the runway. The pit in Becky's stomach deepened. She waited for a text, some reply from Carl, her gaze fixed on the phone.

Her seatmate, a pleasant fortysomething man, took note of Becky's open defiance with a degree of amusement. "I'll shield you," the man said in a conspiratorial tone.

Becky glanced up to thank him. He gave her a warm, friendly smile, nothing more. It was rare for her to sit next to a man and not feel his desire. She was tall, annoyingly thin to some outspoken friends, with long, flowing blond hair and sharp blue eyes that called attention to her nicely symmetrical face, very much the prototypical California girl — which happened to be her home state.

At forty-eight, Becky could easily pass for a woman a decade younger, but these last few years of Meghan's illness had begun to take a toll on her youthful appearance. There were gray streaks camouflaged in her blond mane, and crow's-feet marked the edges of her blue eyes, deep enough that it looked as though the birds themselves had perched there at night while she slept. Still, men found her attractive, lusted after her, convinced themselves that she could not resist their charms. She understood the sway she held over some men — most men — but she was always strategic in the application of this power of hers.

Her seatmate was the rare breed who gave off no creep factor whatsoever, so she could keep her attention on her phone and not be distracted by him. Carl, her husband of twenty years, should have answered her by now. How hard was it to text Meghan's fine or We're fine or No worries, safe travels xo, anything of the sort, but it had been ages (well, more like thirty minutes) since she'd sent her last probing text, and his radio silence was deeply unsettling. He knew how nervous she was to leave Meghan. She'd been up all night with worry, and he'd promised to respond right away whenever she texted him.

Why isn't he answering now?

The flight attendant patrolled the aisle with the watchful eye of aprison guard. Becky slumped farther forward to block her phone as she typed another message to Carl: Plane leaving. Where are you? What's going on?

That voice in Becky's head, the one that had told her not to go to California in the first place, spoke up again to issue stern admonishments of how long the flight was from Boston. She'd be thousands of miles from her daughter. It was stupid to think she could go there without feeling perpetually sick to her stomach. But what other choice did she have? Her mother was dying. According to her sister, Sabrina, her only sibling, it was a matter of days.

"I know you have your issues, we both do, but she's our mother," Sabrina had said during yesterday's phone call. "You should come home."

The truth was, Becky did want to be with Cora in her final moments. She wanted to hold her mother's hand, console her, be there for her despite all the insanity, the layers of hurt that, like geological strata, had marked the epochs of her journey into adulthood.

Even with years and distance between them, Becky could not escape her mother's long shadow. Though the cancer had taken her mother's voice, that voice still rang loudly in Becky's ears. If she wasn't chiding her, she was either critiquing her or ignoring her.

Did her mother have a mental illness? If so, none had ever been diagnosed, but Becky had done plenty of research over the years, not to mention countless hours spent in the therapist's armchair, trying to understand Cora's ambivalence toward motherhood. The bits of wisdom Becky got growing up were not the kind a normal mother would have imparted.

"You have to figure out their doubts and fears, try to use their pasts to your advantage," her mother had once said while explaining how to manipulate people. They were in a doctor's office at the time. Then again, they were always in some doctor's office.

"Look on the wall." She pointed to the pictures that hung in pretty silver frames. "There isn't a woman in any of them, just him and his two daughters. Is he a widow? Divorced? Could be he's lonely, or his confidence has been shattered. That's good for us. We can use it. See how one of his daughters looks like you?" She had pointed out a blond girl who looked to be ten, the same age as Becky at the time. "We'll tell him we're new to town, don't know our way around yet, wondering about schools and such. He'll think of his own daughter when he looks at you, and it'll make him want to be extra helpful. So when we ask for a doctor's note — for my work, I'll say — he won't think twice about writing one, even though he hasn't reached any diagnosis yet."

Her mother did not actually have a job. Her job was getting those notes from the doctors she had taught Becky to manipulate. She did not show Becky how to braid her hair or brush out the tangles. There were no lectures on healthy eating. "You ask around, you'll figure it out," her mother had said when Becky inquired where babies came from. Her mother's love was dished out like food rations, given only in times of great need. And it seemed the only time that need arose was when Becky was with her mother at the doctor's office or a hospital. Becky accompanied her mother on these frequent sojourns as nothing more than a prop — something cute and little to evoke sympathy and dispel suspicion from the doctors and nurses whom Cora had come to depend on for her disability checks.

Like an actress in a play, Becky had her lines down cold, coached by her mother, who was both the director and her harshest critic, which made her so believable when answering the doctors' questions.

Yes, I've seen Mommy faint a bunch of times.

Sometimes Mommy's headaches are so bad that she can't see straight.

Not surprisingly, for all the trips they made to the doctors over the years, nobody could ever figure out what was wrong with Cora, because nothing was ever wrong.

Now Becky was off to say goodbye to this damaged and damaging woman, worried it would be to the detriment of the sick daughter she'd left behind.

Becky bit her lower lip as she stared forlornly at the squat gray buildings that appeared to be rolling past her portal window. Of course, it was an illusion. Becky was the one moving, not the buildings, which meant she was leaving, that this was really happening. She was going to fly, and there was still no word from Carl.

Becky's seatmate sent her another sidelong glance. Perhaps he noticed some color drain from her complexion or her knuckles whiten as she gripped the armrest.

"Nervous to fly?" he asked.

Becky peeled her eyes from her phone, tried to relax and let it all go, but her heartbeat accelerated as the terminal vanished from view.

"No, I'm fine. Thank you," she managed. Her soft voice lacked conviction.

"My wife hates to fly, too," said the man. His capacity to ignore the "don't talk to me" vibes Becky gave off annoyed her, but it was not surprising. Men often had blinders on in that regard — even the non-creepers. "A vodka tonic usually does the trick," he continued. "Anyway, I'm sure you've heard that flying is far safer than driving."

"I'm fine, really. Thank you for your concern."

Becky took a sharper tone and, judging by her seatmate's wounded expression, doubted there'd be any more idle chitchat. She returned her attention to her phone, feeling terrible for the way she'd dismissed the man. Thanks to her mother, Becky was remarkably in tune with other people's feelings.

It made sense she'd be good at it — there had been no better way to get her mom's attention than to show an aptitude for figuring out what people wanted to hear based on their appearance or mannerisms. To see her daughter plying the family trade had impressed Cora more than when Becky made the cheer squad in middle school or got into the National Honor Society her junior year in high school. At the feet of the grand master herself, Becky had learned what to say or do to ingratiate herself with most anyone. With these insights, she could make people happy, put them on edge, or keep the peace, whichever suited her needs. It was shameful in a way, but it was also what had made her such a successful real estate broker. It was all about knowing which levers to pull.

"I'm sorry," Becky said to the man. "I'm traveling for the first time in a long time, and it's hard for me to leave my daughter. She's sick, and, well, I'm waiting to hear from my husband to let me know everything is all right."

"I'm sorry to hear that," the man said sincerely. "What's the matter, if you don't mind my asking?"

"I wish I knew," Becky said. "Nobody seems to know."

Becky was a notoriously private person, except when it came to Meghan's illness. For that, she blared the horns. She talked to anyone, stranger or friend, about the puzzling array of symptoms plaguing her daughter. She sought advice, doctors' names, homeopathic remedies, experimental treatments, diagnoses from the expert and uninformed alike. She had filing cabinets in her office filled with papers, printouts from the web, doctors' reports, lab tests — enough so that a friend once jokingly asked if she was opening up a health clinic.

While Becky avoided the specifics of Meghan's confounding symptoms, she gave enough details to help her seatmate visualize a tense and uncertain situation back home. Muscle weakness. Fatigue. Blinding headaches. Achy joints. Weight loss. Decline in physical coordination. Trouble concentrating. Her daughter's symptoms could change or worsen at any time, making a six-hour cross-country flight feel like an eternity.

"I'm sorry for what you're going through. I'll pray for you," said the man after Becky had dispensed with the background.

It was a kind gesture, not at all unwelcome, and something Becky heard quite often these days. When there were no clear answers or well-defined next steps, prayers seemed to be the only thing people could offer.

Carl finally returned Becky's many texts just as the captain came on the intercom to inform the passengers and crew that they were number six for takeoff. The buzz of the phone surged through her arm like an electric current. Carl's reply was short and simple, four words that made Becky's blood turn cold:

We're at the hospital.

CHAPTER 2

Becky's phone buzzed for a second time.

Carl's next message read: Can you talk?

The plane crawled forward a few more feet. Becky did the math in her head: six hours in the air, a layover in California until she could get a return flight home to Boston, six more hours to fly back, and then travel time to the hospital. All of it added up to far too long.

Becky got Carl on the phone.

"Baby, what is it? What's going on?" Panic leaked into her voice.

"I don't know. Holly was over with the twins. The kids were in the backyard kicking a soccer ball when Meghan just fainted. I called 911. The ambulance brought her to Saint Joe's. But she seems fine now, alert, chatty even."

"What did the doctors say exactly?" Becky asked. "And how could you let her run around?"

"She wanted to play."

Becky got the subtext. Her daughter may have inherited her father's natural athletic ability, but there was no question she got her strong will from Mom. The twins, Addy and Danielle, were younger kids from down the street. Their mother, Holly, was a neighbor who had become an expert on Lyme disease after Addy contracted it. Becky remembered now that she and Holly had made plans to meet for coffee and talk about the condition, plans she had forgotten about when she'd booked the last-minute flight to California.

The symptoms of Lyme disease are easy to miss or confuse with something else, and half the people who have it don't even remember getting a tick bite. Meghan had already been tested, but Holly knew some rare forms of the disease that she thought worth consideration. It was no surprise she had brought the twins with her. The girls were always eager to learn soccer from Meghan, the older, far-superior player.

But Carl knew better, and it took every bit of restraint not to scream at him. Exercise, exertion of any kind, worsened her daughter's symptoms, which was why Becky had insisted Meghan quit the varsity team, as well as the travel clubs where she was always the star.

The flight attendant, Katrina, stormed down the aisle, glowering as she marched. "You have to put that away immediately."

At that moment, the captain's monotone came over the loudspeaker. "We're presently number three in line for takeoff. Flight attendants, please prepare for departure."

"Now, please!" Katrina barked, pointing at the phone.

Becky ignored the order. "Carl, what's going on? Is she all right?"

This was hardly the first time Meghan had been to the hospital, but it was the first time that Becky had not been with her. Anxiety built in Becky's chest and spread outward as the hard stares of many sets of eyes bored into her from the front and back of the airplane.

"The doctor thinks she became dehydrated. No IV — she wouldn't allow it, of course — but they've given her lots of fluids."

Becky was not surprised. The only tangible result of all the doctor visits seemed to be her daughter's newly developed and incredibly intense needle phobia. Too many failed attempts at venipuncture from inexperienced phlebotomists had deeply scarred Meghan and turned every doctor's visit into an ordeal. Getting an IV into her would have been a miracle.

Despite Carl's reassurances, Becky visualized her daughter on ahospital bed in the ER, the electrocardiogram going flatline. She heard alarms ringing in her ears, and imagined a swarm of doctors and nurses administering lifesaving care.

Becky pinned the phone between her shoulder and ear as she fumbled to unclasp her seat belt. She stood, nearly cracking her skull on the overhead bin as she rose, and clambered over her seatmate, issuing a string of apologies as she forced her way into the aisle.

"Ma'am, you must take your seat this instant," Katrina said while blocking the aisle.

Ignoring the order, Becky shook her head in defiance. "My daughter is very sick. She's in the hospital. I have to get off this plane. Now."

"Ma'am, I'm ordering you back to your seat, right now." Katrina pointed at Becky's empty seat, as though she needed the reminder of how to find it.

Two flight attendants hurried toward the commotion while a third accessed the intercom, perhaps to inform the captain of the disturbance in row 16. The plane continued to roll forward, while Becky, retrieving her bag from the overhead bin, acted as though it had come to a complete stop at the gate.

"Please, I have to be with my daughter. She's in the hospital; she's very sick."

"Hey, sit down, lady!" The angry voice came from some rows back.

Becky's seatmate stood and glowered at the man who had scolded her. "Her daughter is sick," he snapped. "She has to get off the plane. Have a heart, buddy."

"If she's sick, what's she flying for?" the angry man shot back.

Becky paid no attention to him. Her thoughts looped like a recording on repeat: Get off the plane! Get off the plane! Get off the plane!

Becky figured she could knock on the cockpit door to get the captain's attention, forgetting what those terrorists had done on that fateful day and how everything about flying had changed since then. As she pushed past Katrina, Becky felt a firm hold on her arm, followed by a strong tug backward.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Saving Meghan"
by .
Copyright © 2019 D. J. Palmer.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Saving Meghan 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 63 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was provided an Advanced copy for an honest review. I couldn’t put the book down. It is any Parents worst nightmare to have a sick child but not know what is wrong. How far would you go to save your child.? Or could her mother be the cause? We all put out trust in our doctors but what if their wrong? If you like suspense this book won’t disappoint.
faunne 21 days ago
I received a free print ARC of this novel from Goodreads Giveaways. Below is my honest review. What an incredibly intriguing premise: a mother, fighting earnestly for her teenaged daughter's health despite a lack of diagnosis for her debilitating illness, Becky is accused of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. In essence, she is accused of inflicting these severe symptoms on her own daughter due to a psychological disease she harbors. Frustrated with never-ending hospital visits that lead to no hope of a diagnosis, even her husband Carl begins to believe she is culpable for her daughter's sickness. The narrators alternate between Becky, her daughter Meghan, and Zach (a doctor). Zach's own young boy died of mitochondrial disease, so when he suspects Meghan may also have the disease, his coworkers suspect he is too emotionally invested to be impartial. This book is a page-turner. Is Becky a desperate mother who will do anything to save her daughter, or is she a product of her upbringing? Are Meghan's symptoms real or psychosomatic? Does Zach hold the cure to Meghan's disease, or has he been blinded by his own grief? Although I was able to predict the main element of the conclusion, the ending was still surprising. I struggled to decide whether this book was really worthy of five stars after reading the ending (as thriller writers are wont to do, the ending is overly climactic to the point of absurdity). However, as I have already been recommending this book to friends and family, and since I was impressed by the level of detail in the medical and legal discussion, I have decided to bestow a solid five-star rating.
Scov 3 months ago
I can’t say enough good things about “Saving Meghan”. It’s absolutely awesome!! DO NOT MISS THIS READ!!
busymomoftwo 7 months ago
What I love about Daniel's books is that they are so realistic and plausible, that the thrill is real and are told in a way that really pulls you in to the story and the lives of the characters. Saving Meghan, his most recent (and a medical thriller) was no exception From the first chapter, you find yourself thrust right into the story, trying to pick up details and learn what is happening with Meghan and you find yourself on the same roller-coaster ride as the characters. The story line is filled with twists and turns and just when I thought I knew what was going on, something new would get introduced that challenged my theory and I had to come to a new one. My schedule caused it to take me a while to really get started with the book, only having time to read a chapter here and there, but once I had a little time and could read more than a chapter, I was hooked and I had to keep reading and wound up finishing the book over a period of two days. I won a copy of the book through a giveaway.
bookaholique 8 months ago
Meghan is sick. She has been poked and prodded so much she has developed a terrifying fear of needles. Both her Mom and Dad are desperate to find out what is wrong with their daughter. But it is her Mom, Becky, who is relentless in finding a doctor who can give them a treatable diagnosis. When they finally do, several other healthcare professionals get involved and suddenly, Becky is fighting to save her daughter. Is Meghan really sick or is Becky using her daughter to get attention? And what about Meghan's Dad? He is pretty wishy washy about the whole thing and often thinks his wife is the one who is sick. Plus, Meghan has a little secret she knows about her Dad. Hmmm - how does that fit in the picture? Boy, this kept me guessing right down to the very end. As soon as I thought I knew what was going on, something happened that made me question myself. This really does show the extent a parent will go to save one of their children. This was a real page turner. My thanks to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley.
marquis784MA 9 months ago
Saving Meghan by D.J.Palmer April 2019 St Martin’s Press Fiction, psychological suspense I received a digital copy of the ARC from NetGalley and St Martin’s Press in exchange for an unbiased review. Becky Gerard is a 48 year old mother from CA who moved her family to MA in a desperate attempt to save her daughter Meghan’s life. Although it seems admirable there is an underlying, dysfunctional motive for her. Despite growing up in a toxic home environment, she manages to become a successful real estate broker and marry Carl, her dream husband. Similarly, her moving to MA served another purpose for Becky, that is, to move as far away from her hometown as possible. Sabrina, Becky’s sister, remains in CA caring for their manipulative angry mother who is dying of cancer. Meghan’s mysterious illness becomes her excuse for avoiding anything unpleasant including forgiving her mother. As much as I wanted to feel empathetic towards this family and their experiences, it was difficult due to their unlikeable characters. They live in a tony neighborhood of Concord, MA and surround themselves with privileged materialistic acquaintances. It becomes obvious that life experiences has made forming genuine relationships with people impossible for Becky. Unfortunately, she hovers and controls Meghan so much that her daughter doesn’t thrive as a once healthy 15 year old varsity soccer player. Because of Meghan’s consistent poor health with unfounded medical etiology, she misses school and is constantly being dragged around to doctor for tests and evaluations. Becky, feeling the guilt from her own childhood, transfers her anxiety and need for attention onto finding a cure for Meghan. After 2 years, she is eventually confronted with accusations of Munchausen by proxy. How could a mother actually be to blame for making her child sick? When there are no apparent medical explanations for all the vague unrelated symptoms, it raises red flags for medical professionals who have an obligation to protect the minor child. Of course, this story has many twists and turns drawing in several characters who all have their own agenda. There are clues along the way but only mere breadcrumbs to keep you reading to find out how it ends. The story addresses mental illness and it’s lasting effects on families. Confronting the guilt and shame that people carry for unavoidable situations becomes important for healing and moving forward.
TropicalDelusions 11 months ago
Saving Meghan – D.J. Palmer Meghan Gerard is your typical teenager – with some disturbing medical symptoms. Mostly neuromuscular complaints – fatigue, migraine headaches, syncopal episodes – but no one can diagnose her. Meghan is the only child of Becky and Carl, and Becky will do anything – ANYTHING to keep her daughter safe and get her the care she needs. Becky, in her younger years, lived with a very manipulative mother, named Cora. Adding to the stress is the fact that Cora is dying of cancer, and she’s 3000 miles away, leaving Becky torn between returning home to make amends, or remaining in New England with her ailing daughter. Throughout all this is Carl, left on the back burner, and not quite convinced that Meghan is as sick as Becky thinks – at times he wonders if she’s faking things. Meanwhile Becky feels as if her husband isn’t as concerned as he should be, which causes some strain between them. And Meghan is keeping a secret of her own, straining her relationship with her parents as well. Then, Meghan comes under the care of Drs Zach Fisher and Amanda Nash. Dr. Fisher has some suspicions about Meghan’s symptoms, but as Meghans symptoms escalate, testing comes back negative, and concern is raised over the possibility of Munchausen by proxy. Protective services become involved and Meghan is removed from Becky’s care. But Becky will do whatever it takes to get her back. Told from the different perspectives of the varying characters, Saving Meghan is a fast paced, head -scratching, difficult-to-put-down page turner that’ll keep you up well into the night trying to guess the ending of this book…and you’ll be wrong…. A fabulous read from D.J. Palmer that will remain in your thoughts long after the last page is turned!! I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.
Betababe 12 months ago
Legally Bound This starts out fairly slowly; I wasn't sure I was even going to be interested. But as the plot unfolded and the story enveloped me, I found myself sucked in, turning pages ever faster, while my brain tried to get ahead of the tale to figure out what was going on. The need for instant action to protect the innocent can create massive injustices to all parties. Lack of sufficiently trained personnel to investigate and verify claims makes the appalling actions permitted by law that much more flagrant. This nice, solid, medical thriller explores a number of areas not generally known--I love when a book teaches me new things!
SarkuraCherryBlossom More than 1 year ago
Title: Saving Meghan Author: D.J.Palmer Genre: Thriller Pages:384 Pub date: April 9 ,2019 Netgalley Can you love someone to death? Some would say Becky Gerard is a devoted mother and would do anything for her only child. Others claim she's obsessed and can't stop the vicious circle of finding a cure at her daughter's expense. Fifteen-year-old Meghan has been in and out of hospitals with a plague of unexplained illnesses. But when the ailments take a sharp turn, doctors intervene and immediately suspect Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a rare behavioral disorder where the primary caretaker, typically the mother, seeks medical help for made-up symptoms of a child. Is this what's going on? Or is there something even more sinister at hand? My thoughts: Rating: 4.5 Would I recommend it : yes Will I read anything else by this author : yes This book makes you question every thing you think you know about what is going on, questions like is Meghan really sick or is her mother making her sick and if so why , it also makes you question wither Meghan is safe with her , because the more you read , the more it becomes clear that someone what Meghan dead but is it one of her parents or is it someone else . For me it kept me guessing on what was going on, and made me want to keep reading just to find out who , what , where and why . Plus the story is told in different points of view , Becky , Meghan and one other person. While at times the story felt a little slow , it did keep me pulled in to the story , and not once did I want to put it down, i was very much in to the story from the begging to the very end , the twists and turns is what made it so . With that said I want to think Netgalley for letting me read and review it exchange for my honest opinion.
SarkuraCherryBlossom More than 1 year ago
Title: Saving Meghan Author: D.J.Palmer Genre: Thriller Pages:384 Pub date: April 9 ,2019 Netgalley Can you love someone to death? Some would say Becky Gerard is a devoted mother and would do anything for her only child. Others claim she's obsessed and can't stop the vicious circle of finding a cure at her daughter's expense. Fifteen-year-old Meghan has been in and out of hospitals with a plague of unexplained illnesses. But when the ailments take a sharp turn, doctors intervene and immediately suspect Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a rare behavioral disorder where the primary caretaker, typically the mother, seeks medical help for made-up symptoms of a child. Is this what's going on? Or is there something even more sinister at hand? My thoughts: Rating: 4.5 Would I recommend it : yes Will I read anything else by this author : yes This book makes you question every thing you think you know about what is going on, questions like is Meghan really sick or is her mother making her sick and if so why , it also makes you question wither Meghan is safe with her , because the more you read , the more it becomes clear that someone what Meghan dead but is it one of her parents or is it someone else . For me it kept me guessing on what was going on, and made me want to keep reading just to find out who , what , where and why . Plus the story is told in different points of view , Becky , Meghan and one other person. While at times the story felt a little slow , it did keep me pulled in to the story , and not once did I want to put it down, i was very much in to the story from the begging to the very end , the twists and turns is what made it so . With that said I want to think Netgalley for letting me read and review it exchange for my honest opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was fortunate enough to have received an ARC of this book. I love a book that grabs my attention from the first page. I also love a book that has an ending I don't see coming. Saving Meghan did both. Being in the medical field and a mother, I could totally identify with both sides of the fence. I really couldn't decide which side I was on while reading the book! Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read! Sensational! I saw this on the Lisa Jackson (one of my favorite authors). Had to check it out! If I could give this book more than a 5 I would. Keeps you guessing the whole book. I have read 2 other books by Mr. Palmer and can’t believe I didn’t know about him before! Can’t wait to read more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Meghan Girard is a fifteen year old girl that is the daughter of a manipulative mother that may or may not be suffering from Munchausen by Proxy. Becky Girard learned as a young girl to manipulate doctors and to lie so her mother could collect disability payments. Becky wanted to confront her mother on her mother’s death bed. She also wanted to let her know that she forgave her. Because Becky believes Meghan is seriously ill she cannot complete her journey to visit her mother. Becky doesn’t trust her husband. The reason being he doesn’t believe Meghan is really sick. He truly believes she’s making Meghan believe she’s really sick. Will the conclusion answer your questions. Pick up a copy and find out. D. J. Palmer never fails to entertain. He is one of my favorite go to authors. A special thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for providing me with a digital ARC to read and review. Put your jacket on and head to your nearest bookseller when it’s released.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Becky Gerard is a loving and dedicated mother trying to cure her ailing daughter Meghan. Doctors cannot explain the sudden illness and feel it necessary to protect Meghan by taking her into DCF custody. They suspect what is a devastating blow to any parent, Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. Is Meghan’s illness all in her head? Could a mother really inflict such mental harm to her child? I was unsure what side to believe throughout the book. The ending was nothing that I would have suspected. This book will leave you questioning who to believe until the very end. Well written. Thank you St. Martin’s Press for this great ARC book.
Sensitivemuse More than 1 year ago
The pace of this plot was steady and although it did keep your reading and page turning, there just didn’t seem to be enough to get me to really like the book. Yes I was intrigued by what was going to happen next, if everything was really all in Becky’s head, if there were other things behind it, or if Meghan really was sick with some weird rare condition. The mystery aspect of it was not too bad and getting to the bottom of it was basically what carried the novel for me. It did feel like bits here and there were dragging and by the last third of the book I pretty much wanted it over with as it was just getting too much. You really do feel for Meghan here because she’s caught between both her parents and you can feel her isolation. I don’t feel much for the other characters mentioned in the book. They’re really not that likable - Meghan would probably be the one I like the most in this book but even then her personality is flat and not that much substance is put into anyone. The last third of the book got me to forgive the slow dragging plot. It was like watching an avalanche go down a hill and the pace got super quick after that. It was enough to get me to forgive the book for the slow dragging plot as I pretty much wanted to know what was the final outcome and what was the ending of it all. Slow plot, great mystery aspect with bland characters, it’s an interesting read and if you’re into the slow build up to a climactic ending, then by all means read it. It was okay for me.
Caroldaz More than 1 year ago
Compelling, gripping, suspenseful, thrilling....this story was all of these! Carl and Becky live a fairly affluent life. Their teenage daughter, Meghan is always sick, suffering with fatigue, aches, dizziness and often is too weak to even go to school. Becky takes her to innumerable doctors, none of whom can give a definitive diagnosis. I loved it that the characters got me involved. Some I disliked intensely, and then I would change my mind. Just when I thought I knew what was coming next....wham!... a twist! The ending took me completely by surprise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very light and fluffy No depth really Kept waiting to come to thriller and not suspenseful to my taste
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best by D. J. (Daniel) Palmer yet! Fabulous writing style; it had me from the first paragraph and kept me reading until the wee hours of the morning. I would highly recommend this book (as well as his previous ones, both under Daniel Palmer and Daniel and Michael Palmer) to anyone who loves a good page-turning thriller! Kudos, Mr. Palmer!! Can't wait for the next one!
NancyBl More than 1 year ago
Just finished Saving Meghan by D. J. Palmer. I couldn't put it down-- so well written and easy to read and follow. Page after page of plot twists and turns kept me reading chapter after chapter. I actually was sorry when I finished the book!
Persephonereads More than 1 year ago
5 out of 5 Stars First I would like to thank Netgalley and St. Martins Press for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Meghan went from a happy, healthy and athletic girl to weak sick ghost of her former self almost overnight. Her Mother Becky believes that there is something terribly wrong with Meghan but the doctors can't seem to figure out what it is. There are too many symptoms that are pointing in too many directions. One day Meghan's Father , Carl finally has a suggestion, maybe Meghan has something called Mitochondrial disease. A friend of his suggested it as the disease has a different symptoms for each and everyone person. It is a very hard disease to diagnose. Luckily his friend knows a doctor who specializes in it. Becky is thrilled with the idea that they may finally have an answer and she is thrilled to meet Dr. Zach Fisher. Though Dr. Fisher believes she does have Mito when Meghan starts to exhibit new & different symptoms he sends Becky and Meghan to Dr.Nash. Next thing Becky knows she is being accused of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a rare behavioral disorder where a parent, usually the Mother makes her child sick to garner attention. Becky is shocked and a battle begins between Becky and Dr. Nash for Meghan's very life. This book will get hooked and keep you hooked all the way through. This is a taut family drama that will hole your interest. It has a feel much like a Jodi Picoult novel. I would highly suggest you picking this up!
LlamaJen More than 1 year ago
Loved the book! This book scared me in many different ways. The worst one was having your daughter taken from you and having your parental rights stripped away. Throughout this whole book, I never knew who to believe. Is Becky a crazy mother making her own daughter sick? Is Carl behind everything? Is Meghan really sick? I kept wondering if Meghan and Becky would end up like Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee Blanchard. The book definitely had me guessing and there were so many twists and turns. Becky's background definitely made her suspicious. At times I didn't like her and questioned her tactics, which made her look guilty of causing her daughter's illness. Becky never worried about how her earring ended up in Dr. Levine's apartment. I would be scared and keep asking myself who could have put it there and why?!! Why didn't Becky question the amount of alcohol she found in Meghan's bedroom? Meghan went to great measures to hide it. Becky just passed it off to her being a teenager. The drinking problem is never really addressed. There were so many questions going off in my head throughout the book. The lengths that some people will go to just to get what they want is crazy and scary. I don't think I would have figured out the clue. Loved the characters, story and writing style. Definitely recommend the book. It was a mystery until the very end, when everything was finally revealed. I never knew who was telling the truth. I look forward to reading more books by the author. I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin's Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
CynB More than 1 year ago
Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer will grab you from the first page until the last page so prepare to clear out your schedule! I literally gave up an entire day because I could not rest until I knew how the story resolved. There are many twists in this story about a child, apparently seriously ill from a mysterious cause, and her mother whose hovering raises suspicions about the source of her daughter’s ailment. At times, I suspected every main character, and in the end, I was not even close! I confess, however, that this was not my ideal thriller. Not one of the characters seemed authentic or consistent in their behavior. Neither was any character particularly likable. This is a wonderful novel if you need to escape for a day or if you love the action of a thriller. But, for me, there was just not a lot to hold on to. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read an electronic ARC in exchange for an honest review.
nookerCB More than 1 year ago
I was so apprehensive the whole time I was reading this book. Can they save Meghan? What’s really wrong with her? Does she have a disease or is someone making her sick? Delve into the minds of 2 very different parents, explore their upbringing and decide which one is correct in how to solve the mystery of a sick daughter. My heart broke for these people and the ways each one handled their daughter and her illness. It’s quite obvious the anguish any parent goes through in trying to help a sick child, but can it ever be enough? Or is it possibly too much? This novel gives us quite a bit of history into medical diagnosis and treatments offered, as well as hospital bureaucrats. Riveting to the end, with a big reveal that you don’t see coming. Just read it already!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Upon reading this book it brought back visions of my medical career and how frustratingly aggravating it can be to try to get answers to questions. The book has intrigue, suspense, and mystery all thrown in. I felt the characters were blase' and could have been more outstanding. Usually when reading I get "pulled into" the story but during reading this book I felt like I was in a never ending "white world".
HomeSweetHouser More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars. Medical thriller + courtroom drama + murder mystery = jam packed, exciting new thriller by D.J. Palmer! The back of the ARC says "Can you love someone to death?" and this is the question at the heart of the story. Teenage Meghan has been "sick" for years. With many nondescript and vague symptoms, she has seen countless specialists in the pursuit of a diagnosis at the direction of her mother, Becky. But when Becky is accused of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, the question becomes, "Is Meghan really sick?" Or is her mother pursuing a diagnosis that doesn't exist? Munchausen syndrome by proxy has always fascinated me and I thought D.J. Palmer did a great job introducing it and giving the reader an idea of just how hard it is to diagnose. I found myself throughout the book unable to pick a side, wavering back and forth between believing Becky's account of events and then getting on board with the Department of Children and Families (DCF). I imagine real Munchausen cases give people similar mixed feelings and precariousness, so I appreciated that Palmer wrote the book with an element of uncertainty. I feel like the thriller genre is getting pretty saturated with the "same old, same old" type of story. Usually the titles begin with "The Woman [fill in the blank]" or "The Girl [fill in the blank]," and have an unreliable narrator. It is hard to find a story that is unique and different. And I think D.J. Palmer accomplished that. I honestly didn't know what was going to happen as the story went on and didn't feel like it was predictable. In fact, the ending really threw me for a loop so if you're looking for a great twist, I would recommend this book. Saving Meghan is a look at what it means to be a parent. What lengths would you go to for your child? How much is too much? How much can adversity can a marriage take? What happens when your role as a spouse takes a backseat to your role as a parent? So many interesting social questions and one wile ride. This is a must read and would make a great buddy read! -I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, D.J. Palmer, and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to review.-