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The Donor

Tekijä: Helen Fitzgerald

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
433567,599 (3.67)-
The Donor, Helen FitzGerald's fifth novel, is a nail-biting psychological thriller about a single dad's horrorfying dilemma. Will, who has given up everything to raise his twin daughters, has a terrible choice to make when both girls suffer kidney failure age 16. Should he save one child? If so, which one? Should he buy a kidney - be an organ tourist? Should he sacrifice himself? Or is there a fourth solution - one so terrible it has never even crossed his mind? Perfect for fans of Julia Crouch, Sophie Hannah and Laura Lippman, The Donor is a gripping thriller about a single dad faced with organ donation as his twin daughters battle to survive. Helen FitzGerald is also the acclaimed author of The Cry, which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award.… (lisätietoja)
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näyttää 3/3
Helen Fitzgerald is one of those authors able to take the reader out of their own world to thinking through the options surrounding a particular issue. Twin teenage daughters both needing a kidney transplant forces Will to look for his wife Cynthia for the first time in 13 years. If it was just one daughter needing a kidney then he would willingly donate one of his. But two kidneys means two donors.

Will employs an agency to search for his wife and this story branches out into Preston's story too, for Preston is also a teenager. And then there is Cynthia's story. She originally ran away to live with Heath a childhood sweetheart who has spent most of his life in jail.

There is a lot of pathos in this story, missed chances, lives that haven't turned out right, but there's a lot of humor as well. I thought the characters were well drawn even down to Will's parents, apologetic because they are old and because their kidneys are not suitable for donation.

How does it become crime fiction? I think THE DONOR Is really only on the fringes of crime fiction although murders are committed. But they are not really the focus of the story. The central issue is how to resolve this problem of needing two kidneys.

A good read. ( )
  smik | Mar 21, 2014 |
The Donor has a simple, though hideous, premise. Will Marion’s twin teenage daughters, Georgie and Kay, both develop a rare genetically inherited kidney disease. They will die without each having a transplant and Will is desperate for a solution but what is the right one? Should he find their mother? Try his parents? Donate one of his own kidneys? But to which daughter? How far would a man go to save his children?

You might think it would be hard to find the humour in dying teenagers and desperate fathers but Fitzgerald makes it look easy as The Donor is full of rich, dark humour. It’s in the depiction of Will as Scotland’s most hapless chap; full of ideas but rarely getting beyond the point of making a list about how he would achieve his latest notion (such as the one he makes detailing the relative merits of different suicide methods). It’s in his choice of temporary relief from his circumstances and the humiliating way he must make his way home afterwards. It’s in the short, clever sentences that you sometimes have to read twice to be sure you’ve gotten all their meaning. I loved, for example, the way we learned about Will becoming a single dad:

"Will was thirty-three when Cynthia went out to the shops”

I just love the way that line conveys so much in so few words.

To counterbalance the humour there is a vein of almost (but not quite) unbearable sadness that undoubtedly draws in part on Fitzgerald’s experience as probation and parole worker. As the most heavily fleshed-out character Will himself is both sad and funny at different points in the novel and as a reader I moved from mild annoyance at his lack of oomph to being wholly in his corner and willing him to success (whatever that might look like). But his wife, the girls’ mother, is just sad from start to finish, though very credibly drawn as a person whose entire life is consumed by addiction. The girls themselves are equally believable; displaying the mixture of childish and adult emotions that any 16-year old would do, never mind one who is facing such a gloomy future.

I read the book in a single afternoon which is due in equal parts to its short (at least these days) length of around 60,000 words and the compelling nature of the story. The very ordinariness of the people and their situation is easy (and therefore terrifying) to identify with and you can’t help but turn one more page to find out what will happen. The presence of a vaguely surreal sense of humour throughout saves the book from being anywhere near the maudlin, ‘misery-lit’ category so popular in some literary circles. Highly recommended. ( )
  bsquaredinoz | Mar 31, 2013 |
From my blog

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. ( )
  marcejewels | Jan 18, 2013 |
näyttää 3/3
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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The Donor, Helen FitzGerald's fifth novel, is a nail-biting psychological thriller about a single dad's horrorfying dilemma. Will, who has given up everything to raise his twin daughters, has a terrible choice to make when both girls suffer kidney failure age 16. Should he save one child? If so, which one? Should he buy a kidney - be an organ tourist? Should he sacrifice himself? Or is there a fourth solution - one so terrible it has never even crossed his mind? Perfect for fans of Julia Crouch, Sophie Hannah and Laura Lippman, The Donor is a gripping thriller about a single dad faced with organ donation as his twin daughters battle to survive. Helen FitzGerald is also the acclaimed author of The Cry, which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award.

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