Friday, January 18, 2013

Review - The Donor by Helen FitzGerald

Currently Reading on Kindle

Summary from Amazon

Will Marion has two perfect kidneys. His daughters aren't so lucky. Question is: which one should he save? Will's 47. His wife bailed out when the twins were in nappies and hasn't been seen since. He coped OK by himself at first, giving Georgie and Kay all the love he could, working in a boring admin job to support them. Just after the twins turn sixteen, Georgie suffers kidney failure and is placed on dialysis. Her type is rare, and Will immediately offers to donate an organ. Without a transplant, she would probably never see adulthood. So far so good. But then Kay gets sick. She's also sixteen. Just as precious. Her kidney type just as rare. Time is critical, and he has to make a decision. Should be buy a kidney - be an organ tourist? Should be save one child? If so, which one? Should be sacrifice himself? Or is there a fourth solution - one so terrible it has never even crossed his mind?

Published July 21, 2011

My Review 4

What an emotional thriller.  A single father with twin daughters who were abandoned by the heroine addict mother.  This book has young adult scenarios, drugs, violence, organ donor info and parenting all wrapped up in this tragic sad story.

The Donor was told by all characters which I enjoyed, but mainly Will, the father.  The voices were distinct but the overall style at times didn't flow, something felt off to me.

Such a sweet story at first, the unique spin of having a single father bringing up his girls and genuinely missing and loving the mom.  The parenting was comforting and realistic with learning as he goes.  He is not a man that makes decisions, his choice is just to make others happy by going with whatever they wanted.  Consequences and decision making was a huge take away from this story, how others are affected and when extreme thoughts are pursued or even thought about. 

Growing up Kay was the idealistic child and Gracie was the moody unapproachable child.  Twins but different in every way.  The way they approached life and then their illness was described in an effective heartbreaking way.

When they found out both girls were sick, Will knew he had to find the mother.  This journey, the planning and action was a highlight.  The teenager who accepted the case to find the mother and Will's notes on how to choose which daughter was hilarious and painstakingly stupid but entertaining, both add to consequences of how it ends. 

There was a major mouth open moment which was obvious to me but I think won't be to all and will add to the realistic drama of events.  Scenes involving a neighbour I thought was over the top and completely unnecessary, may even disgust some readers.

Overall a great adult fiction thriller.  It made me think of a few novels, My Sisters Keeper/Jodi P, Gone Girl/Gillian F and After You/Julie B. 

Favourite quote

For the first time ever, he completely lost it:  yelling and screaming in the hospital, trying to hit that wretched feral stray who was my mother.  That's what happens when you store shit inside for a lifetime.  It rots, then explodes.



  1. I'm glad this is so good. The cover certainly grabs my attention.

  2. Oh wow. Sounds powerful. I feel bad for him already. Great review.

  3. Ok, this sounds like a must read!


  4. Great review Marce, I must read this one!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  5. I am envisioning him giving his life to save both daughters. Sounds like a great read!

  6. This sounds very good and I like that quote.

  7. As I was reading your review I was thinking of My Sister's Keeper. Looks like this one worked!


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