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21 October 2016

Review: 'Saving Phoebe Murrow' by Herta Feely (2016)

Phoebe's mother, Isabel, is precariously balancing her career and her family. Hard-working and caring, worried but supportive, all Isabel wants, in a world of bullies and temptations, is to keep her daughter Phoebe safe. With her busy schedule, though, she fails to recognize another mother's mounting fury and the danger Phoebe faces by flirting with a mysterious boy on Facebook. A cyber-bullying episode aimed at Phoebe pushes her to the edge with horrific consequences. In her search for justice, Isabel, a DC lawyer, sets out to find the culprit behind this cruel incident.

Today I've got quite an interesting review to share with all of you, if I may say so myself. One of the positive things about being a book blogger is that you get approached by publishers and authors to read and review specific books, which also provides you with the opportunity to pick up some novels you might not have read otherwise. I think this is the case with Herta Feely's 'Saving Phoebe Murrow'; knowing me, I don't think I would have as quickly read this novel as I ended up doing now, because it was offered to me for review. Another great thing about book blogging, especially if you end up enjoying the book more than you thought you would...!

As a working mother and wife, Isabel's main goal in life seems to be making sure all the balls are kept in the air. She loves her job as a Washington DC lawyer, but at the same time she wants to be a good mum to her kids, especially her fourteen-year-old daughter Phoebe who has had some problems in the past. Phoebe has a history of self-harm, mainly caused by bullies at school, and Isabel hopes a new school will fix these issues. However, Phoebe's age means she's now slowly getting into touch with boys and alcohol, and Isabel can't seem to switch off her panic-mode. But it's not until Phoebe meets a new online friend that things slowly start to go in a downwards spiral.

'Saving Phoebe Murrow' is a contemporary and convincing novel about the effects of bullying, the pressure of belonging and fitting the picture, and the relationship between mother and daughter. It's also a strong debut novel by author Herta Feely, and a read that made quite an impression on me. The book itself is character-driven with a strong focus on the different characters, particularly teenager Phoebe and her mother Isabel. I thought both characters were interesting and even though there's not too much going on in the story plotwise, I was fascinated from the beginning of the novel until the end and wanted to keep on reading, curious to discover where things would lead.

I actually wasn't too sure what to think about the cover of the book, but another reviewer actually pointed me at the significant use of the butterfly; a beautiful insect that only gets hurt when stopped from flying and kept in a glass case, which is undoubtedly linked to the story inside this novel. I really enjoyed the author's well-paced and detailed writing style and already  look forward to Herta Feely's next novel. On the whole, 'Saving Phoebe Murrow' is a compelling contemporary read, perfect for women's fiction fans; an intriguing and well-written story and a read that actually managed to surprised me!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

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