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Reviewed by Bethany Kelly

Saving Abby by Steena Holmes is an emotional, yet beautiful, book. One that will make you cheer for joy and cry in despair. One that will elicit sighs of relief and grievous sobs.

Claire and Josh Turner have spent the past six years trying to get pregnant. However, when their doctor tells them that there is virtually no chance of them conceiving a child of their own, they give up on their dream of becoming parents.

After coming home from a trip to deal with their grief, they get joyous news: Claire is pregnant! Unfortunately, their stint on cloud nine is quickly gone. Claire begins to get crippling headaches, blurred vision, fainting spells, and waves of exhaustion that aren’t normal in a pregnancy. After visiting her doctor for these symptoms, Josh and Claire get a devastating diagnosis…one that she can’t beat without putting her miracle child’s life at risk.

In the end, Claire and Josh have a difficult decision to make: save Claire, or save their baby?

When I read the synopsis for this book, I knew that it was going to be a difficult read. This assumption was obviously right, but in a good way. Saving Abby shows the unconditional and selfless love that a mother has for her child. It shows the difficult decisions that we are sometimes faced with. It is a real-to-life novel and shows a situation that many are faced with during their pregnancies…should a woman put herself first? Or her unborn child?

On top of the fascinating, yet difficult, subject matter, this novel is very well written. All of the characters are well-rounded and developed well. Within a couple of chapters I found myself not only invested in the main characters, but the supporting characters as well. Plus, there are a few sub-plots in this novel that are also very interesting.

Saving Abby is written in multiple perspectives: Claire’s, Josh’s, and Millie’s (Claire’s mom). This gives the story more depth. Seeing this difficult situation from the perspective of all involved gives the reader the availability to look at Claire’s diagnosis from all vantage points. We, as readers, get to experience multiple emotions evoked by Claire and Josh’s difficult situation, and get to “live through” the difficulty of how it feels to know that the only way your daughter or wife may survive is by putting your grandchild or child’s life at risk. It definitely is both heartbreaking and eye-opening.

If you prefer not to read about emotional matters, this book is not for you. However, if you are all right with getting your heartstrings pulled, this is definitely a great read. I would even go as far as saying this is one of the best books that I have ever read.


Bethany Kelly is currently getting her MFA at Goddard College and has a BA in English. She is a writer, editor, and stay-at-home mother and wife who spends her spare time (when she has some) reading and cooking. Check out her website at www.bckwritingcorner.com.

Review and giveaway copies were provided by Lake Union Publishing. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.


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