Save Me by Lisa Scottoline, narrated by Cynthia Nixon
Published in audio by Macmillan Audio, published in print by St. Martin’s Griffin, both imprints of Macmillan
In an attempt to protect her bullied daughter, Rose McKenna volunteers as a school lunch mom. After witnessing an emotional attack on Melly, her shy 3rd grader, Rose is attempting to reason with Melly’s tormentors when an explosion rocks the lunch room. Suddenly Rose must decide whether to save the three girls in front of her, or whether to go off in search of Melly, who she is reasonably sure is hiding in the handicapped bathroom adjacent to the kitchen, where the explosion seems to have come from. Rose’s decision at this crucial point first finds her hailed as a hero, but soon reports come in of another injury, and Rose becomes the most demonized woman in her small town. How can she balance assuaging her guilt, protecting her family, and avoiding being sued?
Thoughts on the story:
Scottoline doesn’t pull any punches with Save Me. The story opens with Rose as lunch mom, and the ensuing explosion. The horror of the fire and of attempting to rescue your child are immediate. It is quite an opening, throwing the reader straight into the midst of Rose’s now-chaotic life. It is really pretty brutal for awhile, Rose is continually beaten down by the feeling that she could and should have done more, she is mobbed by reporters, and often talked down to by her own husband. In some ways. the turn Save Me eventually takes is a relief, a break from the gut-wrenching guilt, pain, and misery that has come to characterize Rose’s life. At the same time, however, the end of Save Me seems to become almost another book entirely, as Rose delves into the surprising cause of the fire.
Thoughts on the audio production:
In all honesty, I was a bit terrified at the idea of listening to Cynthia Nixon for 8 hours. Don’t get me wrong, I like her and have nothing against her voice, but I had visions (auditory hallucinations?) of not being able to hear anything but Sex and the City‘s Miranda for the entire book. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Nixon really is a capable narrator. My only real problem with her performance was her voice for Melly, which sounded masculine and a bit gravelly instead of young. The audio also highlighted for me a couple of textual annoyances that I would likely not have noticed if I had been reading the book. One was the constant mention of the klieg lights, whenever the reporters hovered around Rose, and the other was the fact that Rose seemed to be completely and annoyingly incapable of keeping her cell phone charged.
I think many readers will find Save Me highly enjoyable in either print or audio.
Save Me is the SheKnows Book Club pick for March. If you’ve read it, join us for a discussion on Lisa Scottoline’s Facebook page from 8-9 pm Eastern on Thursday, March 29th.
I’m launching a brand-new meme every Friday! I encourage you to review any audiobooks you review on Fridays and include the link here. If you have reviewed an audiobook earlier in the week, please feel free to link that review as well. Thanks to Pam for creating the button.Source: Publisher.
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