Second Hand Heart
Second Hand Heart is an original new adult novel released on 16 September, 2010 from Transworld UK. The U.S. edition (pictured left) is now (as of summer 2011) available as an ebook, and in paperback.
In my own words:
Vida is 19 and has never had much of a life. Struggling along with a life-threatening heart condition, her whole life has been one long preparation for death. But suddenly she is presented with a donor heart, and just in time. Now she gets to do something she never imagined she'd have to do: live.
Richard is a 36-year-old man who’s just lost his beloved wife, Lorrie, in a car accident. Still in shock and not even having begun the process of grieving, he is invited to the hospital to meet the young woman who received his wife’s donor heart.
Vida takes one look at Richard and feels she’s loved him all her life. And tells him so. Richard assumes she’s just a foolish young girl. And maybe she is. Or maybe there’s truth behind the theory of cellular memory, and maybe it really is possible for a heart to remember, at least for a time, on its own.
Second Hand Heart is both a story of having to learn to live for the first time, and having to learn to live all over again.
Choice Magazine says, "...powerful emotions are aroused. A compelling, thoughtful read." And I'll be posting more print reviews very soon!
The book blog reviewers have been wonderfully kind to this book. Here are a few snippets, and please do scroll down and see the photos of places Vida and Richard visited in the novel:
“This is a fantastic book, each journal entry equals a chapter, which means that it’s really easy to read too (and brilliant for tube-readers!). ‘Second Hand Heart’ is a really touching book, Ryan Hyde’s style is evoking, informative and passionate.
“Similar to Jodi Picoult in content and writing style but also unique, Catherine Ryan Hyde’s books are wonderful!”
–Laura Loves Reading
“I was prepared for schmaltz and rather too much sentimentality and I got neither. This was beautifully told, cleverly interwoven and I couldn't have been more delighted if it had proper, living grass on the cover. It makes you think more deeply about the imprints we are unaware of making on the lives we lead, and more interestingly, of the impressions we are creating within our individual genetic make-up. A fascinating premise and a lovely book. Highly recommended.”
“There is no doubt about it, heck the amount I’ve just written is proof enough – Ryan Hyde has written a fantastic character who comes to life in a way that few other authors manage…not only is this a very good book, it’s an important one too.”
–The Worm Hole
“…a fascinating and moving story which raises an interesting question: does cellular memory (where a transplanted organ retains the memories and characteristics of its previous owner) really exist?...an interesting and thought provoking story.”
–She Reads Novels
“Everything about this book is unexpected. You think you’re in for one thing, but you get quite another. The characters don’t behave the way I thought they would, the story unfolds in a landscape utterly different to where it begins and instead of being pleasantly entertained by a sweet story for 450 or so pages, I found a moving lesson about living as oppose to just existing. What’s especially wonderful is how simply and sparingly Hyde writes, and yet she still manages to drench you in emotion with her words. While other books strain so much to stir your feelings they give themselves hemorrhoids (sorry for the imagery – just thought that that was the best description!), Hyde does it effortlessly which, of course, only makes it feel even more impactful, as it hits you unexpectedly.
“There’s plenty more I could say about this book, but I don’t want to give too much way. Discovering a new author you like is always a nice surprise, and I can’t wait now to read Hyde’s other novels, as I expect I’ll really enjoy them too.”