Melinda Freeland's Reviews > Megan's Way

Megan's Way by Melissa Foster
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Aug 17, 11

Recommended to Melinda by: Goodreads Bookclub/Group & Social Site The Women's Nest. Founding site member's debut novel.
Recommended for: Those who enjoy emotional stories, who have dealt with the loss of a loved one, who have children.
Read from August 01 to 17, 2011 — I own a copy, read count: 1

It’s not often an author can write dialogue or a certain scene that will hit me “right there” to where I actually shed a tear, but author Melissa Foster did make me cry – more than once – while I read her debut novel Megan’s Way. This was a good thing. It’s always a nice treat to me when an author can make me feel any emotion strongly – be it sadness, joy, anger, fear or so on.

I always find it interesting to learn different viewpoints on life and death, and the author covered this matter from several angles, including “the afterlife” aspect. Even though what the characters believe and the rituals they perform are quite different than my own spiritual background, the author wrote about this in such a way that I found this part of Megan’s Way very enjoyable and intriguing to read.

I admit that I know part of my positive reaction to this book was based on an “I can relate” feeling. My husband’s older brother died this last Christmas Eve in a car wreck and left behind a wife and three young children. This unexpected death, with no chance for one last goodbye or to say things one wants to say or ask things one wants to ask, and the extremely heavy emotional weight this kind of scenario puts on family and friends – it has many of the same emotional complexities involved that were covered in Megan’s Way. How will loved ones deal with the death of someone dear to them, especially when that death happened at a fairly early age and happened without warning?

This novel has multiple emotional issues going on, but the main subject matter deals with a single mom (Megan) who is dying of cancer and how Megan handles her fate on many levels, mostly those struggles concerning her teen daughter Olivia. How will Olivia deal with the news if she finds out her mom has decided to not take any cancer treatments this time around in order to expedite her own death? How will Olivia’s life and those lives of Megan’s closest friends Holly, Jack and Peter, be damaged if Megan reveals who Olivia’s father is before Megan dies?

The other internal and external conflicts in this story are: how Megan herself feels about dying; how Megan’s best friend Holly will cope with being Olivia’s guardian; how Holly has her own very serious secret to wrestle with revealing or not before Megan goes on to the next life; how Megan’s close friend Jack, who is also Holly’s husband, would act toward others if Megan disclosed a certain secret to him before she passes; and how Megan’s other close friend Peter, will lead his life if another important woman in his life leaves him.

Like I said – so many emotions and scenarios are covered in this relatively short novel, yet I think the author did a very good job of pinpointing the most acute feelings of each character with such realism that readers will still be able to get to know each character enough to “feel for them” and enough so that the reader will cry. (The reader will feel other emotions too don’t worry!)

I have added Melissa Foster’s second book Chasing Amanda to my list of books to read!

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