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Saving Meghan

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Can you love someone to death?

Some would say Becky Gerard is a devoted mother and would do anything for her only child. Others claim she's obsessed and can't stop the vicious circle of finding a cure at her daughter's expense.

Fifteen-year-old Meghan has been in and out of hospitals with a plague of unexplained illnesses. But when the ailments take a sharp turn, doctors intervene and immediately suspect Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a rare behavioral disorder where the primary caretaker, typically the mother, seeks medical help for made-up symptoms of a child. Is this what's going on? Or is there something even more sinister at hand?

384 pages, ebook

First published April 9, 2019

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About the author

D.J. Palmer

6 books1,504 followers
Pseudonym for author Daniel Palmer

D.J. PALMER is the author of numerous critically acclaimed suspense novels, including Delirious and Desperate. After receiving his master’s degree from Boston University, he spent a decade as an e-commerce pioneer before turning his attention to writing. He lives in New Hampshire where he is at work on his next novel.

Librarians note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,115 reviews
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,608 reviews10.8k followers
July 13, 2023

15-year old, Meghan Gerard, is a very sick girl. At least, that is what her mother tells everyone. A mother wouldn't lie about the health of her child, would she?

Certainly not.

Becky keeps insisting there is something wrong with Meghan, but after numerous specialists, and countless tests, no definitive diagnosis can be determined.

In fact, Becky's track record on dragging Meghan to a million different doctors has begun to attract attention.

One doctor in particular, calls her out on it. Dr. Nash, a GI specialist, suspects Munchausen syndrome by Proxy may be at play and she is not going to sit by while Meghan is potentially harmed further.

Dr. Nash sets up a series of events that forces the removal of Meghan from her parent's home.

While this may seem brash, Dr. Nash feels that based on the totality of events, it could also be the best thing to ever happen to Meghan.

The premise behind this book is super intriguing and I wanted to love it.

Unfortunately, overall, I was underwhelmed.

It just seemed to drag on and on.

I couldn't stand Becky, or Meghan really, and while I am not one who has to love every character, I honestly couldn't have cared less what was wrong with Meghan.

There were also some fairly far-fetched plot points toward the end that definitely had me rolling my eyes.

With this being said, the writing itself was solid. I wouldn't be opposed to reading future books by this author. This one just didn't stand out for me.

As we all know, there's a Reader for every book and a book for every Reader, so certainly do not let my opinion sway you.

Maybe this will work for you. Pick it up. See if you can figure out who to believe. On a positive note, it will definitely keep you guessing.

Thank you so much to the publisher, one of my favorites, St. Martin's Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review. As always, I appreciate the opportunity to share my opinion.
Profile Image for Deanna .
692 reviews12.5k followers
May 3, 2019

My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

After reading the description for this novel, I couldn’t wait to read it!

“Saving Meghan” opens as forty-eight-year-old Becky Gerard is boarding a flight to Los Angeles. When the flight attendant asks everyone to turn off their phones and other electronic devices, Becky wonders if she’s made a mistake. She can’t turn off her phone; it’s her only connection to her fifteen-year-old daughter, Meghan. She didn’t want to leave Meghan, but her mother is very ill and this may be the last chance Becky has to see her. Her sister, Sabrina told her it was just a matter of days.

“I know you have your issues, we both do, but she’s our mother”

Now as the hatch to the plane closes, Becky grips her phone, waiting for a reassuring text from her husband, Carl. Even a quick “Meghan’s fine” or “No worries” would reassure her. He KNEW how nervous she was about leaving Meghan. Carl FINALLY texts her back and the words make Becky’s blood run cold…

“We’re at the hospital”

Her daughter Meghan has been sick and nobody seems to know what is wrong with her. Her symptoms: muscle weakness, fatigue, headaches, weight loss and more. Test after test and doctor after doctor. Becky feels helpless. Her whole life has become about Meghan’s health.

We are given insight into Becky’s childhood. Her mother was far from a normal mother, but Becky was desperate to please her. Her mother showed her and her sister how to manipulate people, how to use their doubts and fears against them to get what they wanted. Becky vowed she would never be like her mother.

Could Becky be more like her mother than she realizes?

We also hear from Meghan. She says she doesn’t care about the things she used to care about. She is tired of seeing so many doctors and not getting any answers. However, she's thankful her mother is there for her. Becky is her advocate and her best friend, and Meghan trusts her completely. But her father is a different story. Meghan thinks he misses his soccer star…his perfect daughter. She wishes he would reassure her that everything will be fine. But most of all she just wants him to believe her.

“He thought my biggest secret was that I was faking it. But we both know that wasn’t true. My biggest secret was that I knew his”

What secrets is Meghan keeping?

Then Meghan gets even sicker.

Becky Gerard just wants the best for her daughter…


This was one of those reads that I really hated putting down. I was desperate to know what was going to happen next. The story is told from three points of view; Becky, Meghan, and Dr. Zach Fisher.

EVERYONE was keeping secrets.

I thought this was a very enjoyable read. I was totally on edge. Someone had me fooled. I did guess a few things correctly, but I had no clue how things would turn out. Was everything completely believable? Maybe not. But this intriguing story about secrets, betrayal, and revenge had me gripped.

I thought “Saving Meghan” was a very unique domestic/medical suspense novel and I look forward to reading more from this author.

I'd like to thank St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an advanced copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,316 reviews44.2k followers
May 8, 2019
Three stars guaranteed my throne in the minority because I couldn’t connect with the characters as much as did my best to give them more shots!

I was so excited to start to this book! I liked the blurb, read too many good reviews and so hooked in the storyline before even read any words. And as soon as I start turning pages I annoyed all of the characters included our star soccer player Megan comes from a real good and lovely family suffering from undiagnosed disease!
Mother Becky was the worst and I couldn’t connect with the doctor either. So I got lost! I know I don’t have to like all the characters or empathize them! But this story was lack of emotions and descriptions of the feelings of the characters. It is not reliable enough for me to believe in their motives. Even their flaws, their justifications of their actions were a little fake and nonsense for me!

And the thrilling parts, questioning over and over what kind of disease Megan has was really exhausting experience. Was it Munchausens by proxy or Mito disease ? Was she really sick or her mother made her like that!

The writer worked too hard to create twists and surprises but by trying so much and pushing too hard, it loses its all power and effects on me. When I finished the ending I said to myself a curt “okay, thanks God, it finally finished!”

I respect my reader friends who loved this book is too much! The idea of the book was so interesting but improvement story and characterization were a little disappointed.
For the people who like the storyline, I highly recommend Hulu’s Act series. It’s scripted meticulously and gives you much better approach to mother and daughter’s dysfunctional relationship.

Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,205 reviews3,059 followers
July 11, 2020
Becky Gerard, mother of fifteen year old Meghan, is a liar and manipulator, something she learned to be as a very young child, when her mother made her lie and manipulate doctors so her mother could get disability payments. That life haunted Becky, living with a mother whose only effort was put into cheating doctors and the government for money. Now 48, Becky wants to tell her mother how she feels about the way her mom brought her up, but also wants to tell her she forgives her, even if she's not sure she really does forgive her. But even as her mother is on her deathbed, Becky can't be there because she's afraid to leave her very ill daughter, whose health problems can't be diagnosed by any doctor.

I did not like Becky, with her manipulative, pushy, ways and felt so sorry for her daughter Meghan while at the same time, wondering whether Meghan was really sick or not. Becky is sure that Meghan has something horribly wrong with her but from experience in my own life, I couldn't help thinking that Becky either wanted Meghan to be sick and/or was making Meghan sick, whether Meghan knew it or not. The book touches on a lot of things that are disturbing when parents go up against doctors, hospitals, and the government, in an effort to help their children. At the same time, I know that mental illness can cause a parent to inflict illness, real or not, on their child, for reasons we don't always understand.

So many angles and twists get introduced that despite not liking Becky at all, I felt bad about it at times because she loves her daughter so much and will do anything for her. Secrets, omissions, and lies make up the family dynamics of this family of three, Becky, her husband Carl, and their daughter Meghan as Carl doubts that Meghan is really sick and thinks that Becky is "making" Meghan sick by putting ideas in her head. Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for this ARC.

Published April 9th 2019
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,130 reviews3,714 followers
March 27, 2019
Meghan is a 15 year-old girl who had it all. A loving family, successful at school and a star soccer player. But all that came to a grinding halt when mysterious, unexplained symptoms begin to plague her. Suddenly she was shuffled from one doctor to the next. Multiple tests and scans.
Unfortunately, even surrounded by the best medical care, it’s impossible for anyone to put their finger on an actual diagnosis. One doctor believes it could be a rare genetic disease, another thinks it could be stress induced. Who do you believe?
Is Meghan really Ill, or faking her symptoms? Is her mother responsible... a possible case of Munchausen by proxy? Or...?

My feelings rocked back and forth with this book.
The actions/reactions of the physicians, hospital and parents just never felt realistic. As well, none of the characters were likeable. Which is fine...I don’t have to like the characters to enjoy a book but....unfortunately this book came off just too far-fetched for me.

One positive I must add though. This book did have me continually guessing throughout. I can’t t tell you how many times I changed my mind on Meghan’s illness’s. Well played! So if you enjoy a book that will test your deductive-detective skills then this is a must read for you.

Though my lack of believability outweighed my enjoyment there are so many positive reviews out there for this book! Hope you enjoy!

A buddy read with Susanne!🌸

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and D.J. Palmer for an ARC to read and review.
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,168 reviews37.3k followers
March 18, 2019
3.25 Stars

What’s wrong with Meghan Gerard?

Medical test after medical test come back clear and yet Meghan is sick! Cramping, fever, fatigue and muscle spasms, etc. Her mom Becky is sure that it’s something serious and she won’t stop till Meghan is diagnosed! Is it real or psychosomatic? Even Meghan isn’t sure at this point! Experts wonder if it’s Munchausens by proxy or Mito disease.

Becky Girard is something else - is it devotion or detriment? Is Meghan sick? Who or what will you believe? Your head will spin faster than a dreidel and there will times where your eyes roll and yet you’ll keep on reading - desperate for the outcome. I’ll admit that I guessed wrong, however this book kept me on my toes the entire time! Though none of the characters were all that likable I found myself truly intrigued by the premise.

This was another buddy read with Kaceey!

Thank you to NetGalley, St Martin’s Press and D.J. Palmer for an arc of this novel exchange for an honest review.

Published on Netgalley and Goodreads on 3.18.19.
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,230 reviews1,550 followers
April 14, 2019
Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer is a thriller that tackles the question of how far a mother will go for her child and is there such a thing as too far?? The book changes the point of view between several characters with the biggest coming from Becky, the mother.

The book begins with Becky aboard an airplane waiting for the plane to depart worried that her husband was not answering her last minute texts checking on her daughter Meghan. Right as the plane begins to make it’s way to the runway Becky gets the news she was afraid of, Meghan is in the hospital again and she begs to be let off the plane.

You see, Meghan has had every symptom known to man by this point and in and out of the hospital emergency rooms along with test after test from numerous doctors. There’s never an answer to why this once vibrant girl is wasting away but her mother will not give up until she is healthy again.

Now perhaps it’s my own medical history of being passed around from doctor to doctor or just a child in danger but I was immediately drawn into this book and could not put it down. As intense as the beginning was to me the story never really seemed to slow down keeping me on the edge wondering what twist would come next and how it would all turn out. Definitely a book that I recommend checking out and reading yourself.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for Crumb.
189 reviews539 followers
June 28, 2019

A Mother Is..

Your best friend

Your biggest fan

But.. is she also your worst nightmare ?

Is it possible to love someone too much? Becky certainly doesn't think so. Her daughter Meghan is her whole life, her world. Meghan has also been suffering from a serious illness, an illness no doctor has been able to diagnose or detect. And the symptoms.. let's just say they are mildly convenient. Becky is motivated, no obsessed, with treating her daughter. With fixing her daughter. Is this just a loving mother? Or is there something far more sinister at play?

I am majoring in psychology and when I read the blurb for this book, I knew I had to have it. I'm very interested in learning and discovering more about the subject of medical abuse, particularly Munchausen syndrome and Munchausen by Proxy. Munchausen syndrome is a factitious disorder in which a person makes themselves sick to garner attention from medical personnel. Munchausen by Proxy is a syndrome closely related to the one in which I've previously discussed, with a major difference. Instead of making oneself ill, a person, typically a mother, makes their son or daughter constantly ill, and then ships them off to doctor after doctor, in an attempt to contort themselves into a loving, caring mother. They feed off the attention given to them by the medical community. Sick huh?

As one could assume, this is a sensitive subject, one in which D.J. Palmer handled with ease and grace. I couldn't put this one down. I have already recommended it to several individuals. There is only one true question that remains. . . What are you waiting for?
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
2,024 reviews15.7k followers
May 6, 2019
riveting. Tense. Consuming.

Wow! What a ride! This book kept me on my toes, kept me guessing, and then second-guessing. I’d imagine having a sick child would be devastating and having a sick child without a definitive diagnosis would be frustrating. Throughout this book I did feel for Becky, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking is this Munchausen by Proxy? Is she making her child sick? Is Megan really sick? Or is something else going on here? So many questions so few answers.

The book starts off with Becky on a plane to LA about to take off. When she receives a message from her husband that Megan is in the hospital becky demands her way off the plane. Medical exam after medical exam, test after test, and still no answers to what is wrong with Megan. Megan was once an active soccer star who excelled in school, now she is too tired to even make it to school most days. You know Megan is hiding things, keeping secrets, but does that have anything to do with her illness? Is it stress induced? Is it all in her head? Or is it really her mother who is causing all this? I truly had no idea, but boy oh boy did I want some answers!

This book had some pulse pounding moments, with some over-the-top antics. Admittedly this book wasn’t always believable and sometimes I did question the judgment of the medical professionals and the parents, but for me none of that mattered because this was just so entertaining. I liked how it really kept you trying to guess the outcome until almost the bitter end. Even though I figured some of it out, I certainly did not figure it all out. Simply put this was an engaging story that kept me guessing. The ending was satisfying and the getting there was a lot of fun! 8/8

*** many thanks to St. Martin’s Press for my copy of this book ***
Profile Image for Meredith B.  (readingwithmere).
238 reviews164 followers
April 6, 2019
4.5 Stars rounded up!

But there's a difference between letting someone into your life and letting someone define it. I know that now. And, yeah, I finally feel free.

What a wild ride. I loved it.

Meghan is sick but no one can tell her or her family what is wrong with her. She's gone to see so many doctors they've lost count and she's gotten more misdiagnosis then is reasonable. Meghan's Dad Carl finally finds someone new who he thinks may be able to help diagnosis Meghan. They go to meet with him and he thinks she has a certain illness - mito however it's very hard to prove. Dr. Zach brings in some more help and the whole situation takes a big turn. Now they are saying it's Munchausen's by Proxy which is when a parent tries to find medical treatment for their child who isn't even sick....

Becky is trying so hard to help Meghan but what do you do when you are accused of something you just don't believe to be true? And how do you keep your marriage healthy when you both are not on the same page and your child is sick? The story twists and turns every which way that you won't know what to think until the very end.

What a crazy thriller. I wasn't so sure what to think when I first started to read it as there was a lot of unknowns. At the same time though, it made me want to continue to read the story to find out what is really wrong with Meghan. I was pretty sure I knew what was going to end up happening but I was wrong in the end. I actually like to be wrong in these situations, it tends to make the story more thrilling for me.

The thing I loved most about this book was that the author kept writing so that my viewpoint kept changing. There were times I was on Meghans side, then her mom's side, her dad's side and even multiple doctors sides. I did not believe one person all the way through the book which made the ending exciting. The last 150 pages of this book were the best and I binged them. There's so many high stakes situations that happen and everything unravels. At the end I just said woah.

I think this book was more enjoyable for me because I do not have kids. I thought Becky was annoying and overbearing. Again, I don't have kids so I think it made it easier for me to be not on Becky's side during the book. If I had a child maybe I would understand her perspective more but her character's emotions felt very exaggerated and almost too much. That's why I couldn't stand her. Even in the end I wasn't happy for her.

Overall very solid thriller and I would recommend it to anyone who loves thrillers. Also can we give props to the cover artist? This cover is AMAZING!.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for my ARC of this book. This comes out April 9th and you should definitely pick it up!
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 9 books409 followers
November 25, 2022
This book was a cool beach read! It’s going to be really hard to talk specifics without giving away spoilers, and that would ruin the book, so I’m going to put the review in spoiler tags.

Trigger Warnings:
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews633 followers
June 7, 2019
Audiobook....narrated by Stuart Masterson

This medical thriller/domestic psychological suspense novel was a great walking companion.

As to why it took two years to have a psychiatric examination, when no medical diagnosis validated reasons for Meghan’s chronic illness- was beyond me.
I’d have called in the shrinks from the ‘onset’ of a daughter’s illness. ( even ‘if’ blood tests confirmed a medical disease).

Once our own daughter had Scarlett Fever when she was 5 years old - it was the most frightening thing — (“don’t people die from Scarlet fever”, I asked our pediatrician?).
“Yes, they do, he said, but thank god for modern medicine”.
It took Katy a long time to return to the spunky active little girl we knew.
Paul and I didn’t just seek help from our pediatrician, for Katy, once she got sick, we went to therapy ‘ourselves’ because a chronic illness in our daughter was eating us both up too. As parents- we wanted to learn the best way to help Katy get well and keep family balance.
Therapy was extremely helpful.

However.... for two years
doctors searched for reasons why 15 year old Meghan lost weight, had no appetite, had joint pains, headaches, stomach aches, blurred vision, and was lethargically weak.
Her mysterious symptoms came on quickly like some type of permanent big-time
life change. The entire family’s life ‘did’ change.
Damn... they all needed therapy! Ha, but instead - we take a dramatic roller coaster journey down mystery lane! Who, what, why, and how, are questions
we ponder from beginning to end ( waiting for those surprise twists to smack us in the face).

Folks who follow current events are invited to be sideline spectators....
No different than real life.

Regardless if readers like the characters or not... ( I didn’t particularly like anyone)... but silly me, a few I trusted more than others.

I was interested in “Saving Meghan”, enough to want to know how everything would come together.
It was a little long though - and a few parts were getting ‘old’ already!
the characters are fairly defined in the roles they play.
Obsessive mother? Cold hearted father? Victim daughter?
Righteous doctors?
It’s all there for our entertainment... along with the doubts about everyone we’re suppose to have.

Before Meghan’s symptoms occurred- she was a kick-ass strong soccer player, a normal teenager who attended school. We’re told that.
We never meet the athlete on the playing field first hand.

Parents, Becky and Carl were fighting all the time ‘over’ their daughter!!!
Family psychological support was needed. However- family therapy sessions wasn’t going to feed enough shame, anger, mistrust, and nightmare situations...it’s possible it might have even been harmful.

This book is DRAMA STORYTELLING 101!

The fun part of involving myself with this story- was just that....
I was involved. I admit being hooked. Still think it could have been shorter though.

I thought about each family member - their choices and behaviors- their games - ( flirting with doctors to get better doctor care?- funny -and ‘not’ so funny) - things everyone was hiding, the interesting medical possibilities: Mitochondrial disease?, Münchausen syndrome by proxy?, the ongoing medical costs, Meghan’s extreme aversion to needles...Becky’s unwillingness to stop at nothing and her certainty that her daughter was not psychosomatic, and background stories with personal agendas from every character...
We’ve got much to chew on.

Soon... not only are the parents fighting with themselves- but doctors and lawyers begin to fight it out. Yep, welcome to the six pm news!
In the meantime, Meghan continues to get worse.

Great guessing game story.
Clues are subtly dropped throughout - allowing the reader to ‘play doctor, parent, attorney, and spectator. This story gets nutty- crazy towards the end. Think whip cream with a cherry on top of the already too-sweet hot fudge sundae. Your stomach might become sick from stuffing too much in at one.
What was mine?
I thought the mother did it!!!
haha ha... I’m not telling if she did!!!

4 stars. It wasn’t without some silliness & flaws - but that was part of the fun!
Perfect Audiobook to forget personal concerns.
Great exercise enhancer.
I walked 9.5 miles one day - another 8 miles another - and lots of bike spinning.

Not for everyone- plenty to judge - but this messy escapism read ( more mystery than thriller)- made me giggle by the end.

Sick world we live in...
The public has been gobbling up stories like these, every day.

Pizza anyone?
Profile Image for Erin Clemence.
1,112 reviews324 followers
December 1, 2018
Special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review.

Fifteen year old Meghan has been in and out of hospitals, battling an illness that no doctor or test can detect. Her mother, Becky, has done of all of the research and talked to all of the doctors and still, Meghan continues to struggle with symptoms from an un-diagnosable disorder. As the symptoms continue and the illness remains a mystery, doubt begins to arise. Meghan’s father, Carl, and others in the medical community begin to wonder if the illness is all in Meghan’s head and, if it is, how big of a part did Becky play in putting it there? Becky is forced to go to extreme measures to keep her daughter safe and convince everyone, Carl included, that Meghan is sick and that she will stop at nothing to find a cure.

“Saving Meghan” by D.J Palmer, is a novel full of suspense and intrigue. The plot twists in this one will keep you guessing, and the speculations start right from page one. Each character could be as culpable as the next, and there is doubt in the reader throughout the novel as to the true circumstances of Meghan’s illness.

Other novels in this genre often have piles of characters that a reader needs to sift through, and the true culprit is often some random, barely mentioned character who reveals himself in the end. “Meghan” however, was different in that the cast of characters was small, and the path to the conclusion was not convoluted with unimportant players. The skill that Palmer has to be able to pull off a highly entertaining “who-dunnit” with a small cast is palpable.

Well-researched and creative, “Saving Meghan” will inform you as well as entertain you. The disorders and medical knowledge in this novel are not bogged down with medical jargon, which speaks to Palmer’s attention to detail and knowledge of his readers.

Prior to this novel, I was unfamiliar with Palmer’s work, but this novel has provided me with an excellent introduction to an author that I will most definitely investigate further. “Saving Meghan” is wrought with mystery and suspense, with passionate and honest characters, in a relatable and modern setting. Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Zoe.
406 reviews931 followers
July 15, 2022
Saving Meghan is an example of what happens when an author tries to take on too much at once. What could have been a simple yet fascinating psychological study turned into something unnecessarily complicated.

For years, 15-year-old Meghan has suffered from mysterious medical symptoms. Countless doctors have examined her, yet none are able to offer a definitive diagnosis. Meghan's mother, Becky, is determined to uncover the mystery of Meghan's illness once and for all.

The characters here are all very well-developed. Becky in particularly is incredibly multifaceted; her motivations and her thought process are especially complex.
Of course, the brunt of Meghan’s care had fallen on her, the mother. At times Becky felt angry for the burden, and immediately afterward she’d be consumed with guilt. How dare she feel anything other than tremendous empathy when it was Meghan who suffered the most?
The medical aspects of the story are incredibly authentic and well-researched. D.J. Palmer does an incredible job of depicting the frustration and the disappointment that arises when doctors aren't able to come up with a definitive diagnosis.

Where Saving Meghan falters is that, towards the end, it attempts to become a mystery. This felt rather unnecessary; it caused the story to become overly complicated. The book started out as a fascinating and well-written psychological portrait examining the impact illness has on families, but adding a mystery detracted from that.

Ultimately, Saving Meghan has a fascinating permise and is an eye-opening look into Munchausen's syndrome. Further editing could have helped the book be even stronger and more focused.
Profile Image for Marialyce (on our way to Venice).
2,038 reviews709 followers
March 27, 2019
3.5 stars

Not knowing why your child is constantly sick is a huge dilemma for a parent. You run from one doctor to the next searching for the reason, the why of your child's constant sickness. Your child suffers, your marriage suffers, and you, the mother, suffer so fearful of the unknown, thinking that someway somehow cancer is the malady.

Becky Gerard, has so much to contend with, her mother dying, a husband who seems disinterested, a daughter, Meghan, who is constantly ill. When on her way to say goodbye to her ailing mother, she receives a frantic phone call from her husband, she scurries to the hospital where Megan has been taken and so begins a chain of events that will have a devastating outcome.

The question that plagues all of them is why is Meghan always sick when there seems to be no medical cause for it? What seems likes dozens of doctors, visits and hospital stays have produced little more than frustration, worry, and a nagging feeling that something is terribly wrong. Then however, one doctor in the hospital where Meghan has been brought, seems to have an answer, mitochondrial disease. Unfortunately, this disease is very difficult to diagnose and since over time Meghan has developed an aversion to needles, there is trepidation to the procedure to find out if indeed it might be mitochondrial disease.

There is, on the other hand, something else which might be occurring. The mother begins to be suspected of Munchausen's By Proxy Disease, an psychological illness where a caretaker imagines and ultimately foster illness upon the one in their care, seeking attention, drawing sympathy, all in an attempt to make people feel sorry for them. Is this ultimately what Becky is doing? Is there really no illness suffered by Meghan but the desire of her mother for her to be sick?

There are other forces afoot and as the hospital, the mother, and the doctors fight over Meghan's care, the father seems to withdraw further until the ultimate happens and Meghan is placed under the protection of CPS.

This was a different look at how people manipulate and see conditions that are sometimes not there. It is also a look at the devious nature of some as they twist things to achieve what they want. This was a quick enjoyable story but I will admit it had some flaws. It seemed at times to be long winded and overplayed. The writing was good, but the story line at times had me rolling my eyes. There were details that were somewhat far fetched but overall the shocking conclusion at the end carries this story.

Recommended to those who like a psychological thriller and family dramas.
Thanks you to D.J. Palmer, St Martin's Press, and NetGalley for a copy of this book due to be published on April 9, 2019.
Profile Image for Dianne.
1,602 reviews120 followers
March 24, 2019
I was not a happy camper with this book. I had been so excited to read a book with such a unique premise, and then when I really got into the book I found myself skimming. It was slow to start and had a major problem with repetitiveness.

ALL of the characters were extremely dislikable and the ending was seemingly pulled out of thin air.

Had I heard one more time how Becky was so beautiful and could manipulate men -I would have gouged out my eyes. Yes, I can see by Becky's back-story that she had 'issues'...but enough is enough.

Yes, I can see that the author carefully planned the ending, but it (the denouement) should have been longer and told in the culprits' voice.

I didn't like that the story was told in so many voices, yet not from one of the most important people which was, I suppose, to push us into thinking that this unheard character 'did it'.

I didn't like being pushed so hard into coming to an incorrect conclusion. We as readers are not stupid people. We could plainly see what was going on, Mr. Palmer didn't need to hit us over the head with it.

Many people really loved this book; I did not. Yes, I was captivated enough to finish it (skimming a lot of the way through) but I will not be putting this on my 'to be re-read' pile.

*ARC Supplied by the Publisher
Profile Image for Frank Phillips.
529 reviews264 followers
May 7, 2019
I'm giving this 4.5 Stars but rounding up to 5 for the rating.

This book was great, I just felt like there may have been a tad too much medical terminology/jargon used...especially for those of us not very familiar with the field and quite frankly bored after a certain point with it. Outside of this, this book was fantastic! There were so many things to love about this one! I loved the characters, and hated them too. I was completely fooled by a couple of them! I was floored by the unexpected mystery/suspense aspect that developed at the end, finding it very shocking to say the least! Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, this book had a lot of heart to it, and I think everyone should give it a shot. This book is a genre defying in my opinion. Yes, a major part of it is medical, but there are so many other very important parts that will attract a variety of readers...I, for example, am a die-hard thriller/true crime junkie and this one had me hooked! It's just one of those books that you still think of long after finishing it. At least I know I will...needless to say, I am a true fan of this author after reading this one. I think most everyone will say the same after finishing this great debut!
Profile Image for Jenny Baker.
1,286 reviews194 followers
June 26, 2019
I needed an audiobook for my work commute, so browsed the audiobook CDs at the library one day. I have seen this book on display before, but it wasn’t on my TBR. Out of curiosity, I looked at the back of the case and saw that it’s narrated by Mary Stuart Masterson (Fried Green Tomatoes movie), and Rebecca Soler who is one of my favorite female narrators. When I saw that these two ladies narrated this audiobook, I knew I had to listen to it. I really didn’t know what to expect from it, but I'm so glad I took a chance.

Oh my God, this was so good! I already knew what Munchausen syndrome by proxy was thanks to all of the medical shows I’ve watched on cable and I’ve always loved books that dealt with some sort of behavioral issue. My work commute is short, 20 minutes, so I dreaded having to get out of the car, because I wanted to keep listening to this. I kept going back and forth about how I thought it was going to end, and as usual, I was wrong, but I didn’t mind that at all!

It’s an enjoyable thriller that keeps you glued to the story. Definitely recommended.
Profile Image for Milena.
759 reviews84 followers
March 25, 2019
Saving Meghan is an engrossing domestic/medical thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed and found hard to put down. Fifteen-year old Meghan has been sick for a few years with an array of unexplained symptoms and is getting progressively worth but the doctors are unable to give a definitive diagnosis. Most of the doctors seem to think that Meghan doesn’t have an illness and this is a case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. They think that Meghan's mom Becky is making her daughter sick. The lines are drown between those how believe Becky and those who think that Meghan needs saving from her mother.

There are so many unlikable characters and unreliable narrators in the book that it was hard for me to decide whose side I was on. Was Becky making her daughter sick? At times I was sure she was. Were doctors dismissing Becky's valid concerns and didn't have Meghan's best interests in mind? Highly likely! The story has so many twists and turns, I changed my mind a few times about whom to believe and what was actually happening. The ending was very satisfying and delivered all the answers I wanted. Saving Meghan is a riveting read, I am glad I had the chance to read it!

*ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Howard.
1,290 reviews80 followers
November 4, 2022
3 Stars for Saving Megan (audiobook) by D. J. Palmer read by Mary Stuart Masterson and Rebecca Soler.

This was a really uncomfortable yet compelling story. I think all of characters are unlikeable and I don’t know how realistic the situation actually is but I made it through the book.
Profile Image for Maureen.
174 reviews95 followers
April 26, 2019
I really enjoyed this book by D.J. Palmer, a medical thriller dealing with Munchausen by Proxy. It kept me turning pages rapidly as I was engrossed with the main characters: Meghan, the young teenager who was always sickly, her mother, Becky whose background led to the suspicion of having Munchausen by Proxy, obsessed with finding out what medical illness her daughter had, the father Carl, and the medical doctors involved in the case. This was a fast read and I loved every minute of it. I'm looking forward to more books by D.J. Palmer.
Profile Image for Bam cooks the books ;-).
1,915 reviews248 followers
April 8, 2019
"Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP) is a mental health problem in which a caregiver makes up or causes an illness or injury in a person under his or her care, such as a child. Because vulnerable people are the victims, MSBP is a form of child abuse."

Becky Gerard is about to take a flight to California to visit her dying mother when she learns her fifteen-year-old daughter Meghan is in the emergency room. Becky throws a fit until they allow her to leave the plane which had been taxiing for take off.

While at the hospital, Becky calls on her many cozy relationships with doctors to get her daughter more tests. All come back negative. Meghan's medical file is as thick as War and Peace.

Meghan's father Carl learns of a doctor who is a specialist in mitochondrial disease, Dr Zack Fisher, who feels that might be what is wrong with Meghan. Unfortunately, tests he runs are inconclusive and Meghan is too afraid of needles to have a muscle biopsy done that might give a more definitive result.

When she falls ill yet again with no apparent cause, Dr Amanda Nash begins to suspect Munchausen syndrome by proxy as defined above and works with the hospital to get Meghan removed from the Gerard home. How can Becky prove Meghan is really ill and bring her child back home?

The story is told by three characters, two in third person point of view--Becky and Zach; and Meghan's first person point of view.

Although Meghan is a delightful kid, I really could not connect to these characters and found the pace of the story to be plodding. There are hints of behaviors that are kept secret and it takes till nearly the story's end to reveal these important secrets. I enjoyed the twist to the ending though; the pace of the plot picks up considerably at that point and things suddenly make sense. Is this a family drama or a mystery? Read the book to decide.

I received an arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for my honest review.
Profile Image for Mackey.
1,075 reviews363 followers
April 15, 2019
2.5 rounded up
There were far too many times that I found my self rolling my eyes for me to rate this any higher than 3 stars. It was quick read, admittedly I skimmed through the middle because it was predictable, but I wouldn't recommend that you rush out and buy it.
Profile Image for Kendall.
644 reviews653 followers
March 28, 2019
Saving Meghan.... what a cover!!

Becky's daughter Meghan has been very sick for a long time. So many tests have been done by doctor's and still there are no answers.

Becky becomes obsessed with finding out what's wrong with her daughter. Although, wouldn't you be if this was your child?

So, this reminded me a tad bit of a Lifetime movie that I saw and was pretty much rolling my eyes quite a bit throughout this entire novel. Meghan's mom falls under the suspicion that she may be creating her daughter's illness in her mind or as known as Munchhausen by Proxy disease.

I wasn't that impressed with the storyline and was expecting more. The writing was very strong but I just was hoping for a tad more than was delivered.

I was curious to see what was happening with Meghan and Becky... which gravitated me to finish the book! :)

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

Publication date: 4/9/19
Published to Goodreads: 3/27/19
Profile Image for Judy Collins.
2,690 reviews377 followers
November 23, 2022
An avid fan, D. J Palmer returns following The First Family (my top books 2018) , Mercy, and Forgive Me (my top books 2016), Trauma, and Constant Fear (my top books 2015) with his latest thriller SAVING MEGHAN. (My top books of 2019)

"Psychological domestic suspense meets heart-pounding medical thriller.”

WOW, A riveting, chilling new thriller with strong character-development, infuses the best of medical thrillers of Michael Palmer (dad) and the award-winning gripping suspense of Daniel Palmer.

I LOVE the new D.J. Palmer's name! No matter the initials or the title, I have been a fan of both authors for many years and a favorite. As long as it has the Palmer name attached— readers are assured an entertaining page-turner experience.

I am so thrilled Daniel has continued his dad’s legacy and adding in medical thrillers to his collection of psychological suspense thrillers with a wide range of topics. I love all Daniel Palmer's books. A rock star, whether Daniel, Michael (dad), Daniel and Michael joint, or D.J! Love the new name by combining the two (father/son) and with St. Martin's Press.

SAVING MEGHAN will keep you guessing to the very end! Twisty, dark, fascinating! If you love psychological/medical thrillers, you are going to devour this one.

This family of three (Becky, Carl, and Meghan) has some deep dark secrets. What a wild roller coaster ride. Is it Munchhausen by proxy, or something more serious? How far will a mother go to protect her daughter?

Emotionally gripping domestic suspense! Nothing screams “claustrophobia” more than highly charged topics revolving around medical conditions and the control of a medical physician, hospital, or a parent making decisions for a child under fire.

Palmer keeps you on the edge-of-your-seat with nail-biting suspense and non-stop action and twists, to the explosive ending.

Becky Gerard is a helicopter mom. You could say she has devoted her life to the well-being of her daughter, Meghan. Becky sees outside sources to learn more about her daughter’s illness. She will do anything for her daughter. (The plane scene was award-winning). This novel would make a great movie or TV series! 🎬

She knows her research and can run circles about most medical staff when it comes to her daughter's condition.

Now, fifteen Meghan is continuously in and out of the hospital with unexplained illnesses. Is she sick, or is someone making her sick? What is she hiding?

Carl, Meghan’s father, thinks his wife is obsessed, enabling the illness. He does not believe in the work of Becky’s other sources. He is not as involved as his wife in her care.

When doctors cannot figure out a diagnosis, they, of course, label it as Munchausen syndrome. A rare disorder where the caretaker seeks medical help for something which is not there. However, is this case, is the mom making her sick or another genuine rare disease?

Meghan is keeping secrets. Mom and dad are keeping secrets. However, these secrets may have deadly results.

When things take a drastic turn, and the hospital is holding the daughter hostage, how far will a mother go to try and save her daughter to prove she is correct and her daughter really is sick?

As always, Palmer is a "master of his craft" and keeps readers turning into the wee hours of the morning to find out the source of the problem and solve this mysterious puzzle.

A very timely novel, with all the lawsuits against the medical industry. A great exploration into how easy it is to lose control of our family’s medical care. It is scary and realistic. The author creates a terrifying scenario and could easily happen to anyone.

I have had the pleasure of reading all Daniel Palmer and Michael’s books and excited to see the blending of one name, D.J. I cannot wait to see more of the same and what is coming next! I am looking forward to the upcoming The New Husband coming April 14, 2020. Sounds fab!

Profile Image for Shannon.
166 reviews329 followers
March 7, 2019
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press #partner for gifting me a copy of Saving Meghan. I enjoyed reading the multiple POVs in this one.

Becky’s daughter, Meghan, has been sick for a long time. Numerous doctor visits and tests have been done and still there is no diagnosis. It doesn’t help that Meghan is deathly afraid of needles.

Becky is on her way to see her dying mother when Carl, her husband, calls her to tell her that Meghan’s in the ER. Becky gets taken off the plan after causing such a scene and rushes to the hospital to see Meghan.

Why can’t they find out what’s wrong w Meghan? Is she faking it? Becky does seem a little obsessed to find out what’s wrong with a Meghan, but wouldn’t you be? Is this a case of Munchausen by proxy?

Secrets, lies, the drama, 3 Stars ⭐️
Profile Image for Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader.
1,181 reviews142 followers
March 27, 2019
I was so excited for this book. I devoured it and did not see a lot of it coming. It kept me on my toes. I will not tell you if I am team #BelieveBecky or team #ProtectMeghan I want you to read it and tell me which team you are.
I will tell you this, you will not see the ending coming. You will be as shocked as I was.
I can't wait to read Mr. Palmers next book.
4 stars and I HIGHLY recommend this book.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.
Profile Image for Stephanie .
495 reviews94 followers
March 17, 2019
3.5 Stars rounded up

Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer is a quick, enjoyable read that is less of the thriller that I expected and more of a family/medical drama with a highly sinister, twisted plot!

Having a sick child is a nightmare...even when your child has a fever, the flu, an ear infection, you hate it and will do anything to make them feel better and when they are in the hospital, forget about it! You'll move mountains to get your child the best care possible! Just ask Becky Gerard, mom, to 15-year-old Meghan! There is nothing she won't do to make sure she finds out what is wrong with her extremely sick teenage daughter because she KNOWS Meghan is sick, very sick, despite numerous visits to many different doctors and specialists, hospital visits, tests--oh the tests and the bloodwork, so much of it that Meghan is now beyond terrified of needles!

Becky is so obsessed and manipulative when it comes to getting answers about what is wrong with Meghan that when the possibility is brought up by one of Meghan's newest Drs that the tests are either finding nothing wrong or all inconclusive because there's nothing actually wrong with Meghan and instead Becky's guilty of Munchausen syndrome by proxy—actually making her daughter sick in order to get attention for herself, it wasn't very hard to believe that could be the truth...Or is it?

This is a story with some interesting twists as it becomes a fight for Becky to save and protect her daughter and for the hospital to feel they have to do the same! Who is right in this medical drama? What explains all of Meghan's symptoms of chronic headaches, severe fatigue, weakness, appetite loss, and fragility that can't be explained by any bloodwork, test, or doctor examination? Is it Becky causing them? Is it a new diagnosis from a new doctor? Or is something more sinister than even Munchausen syndrome by proxy happening?

While I enjoyed this one quite a bit, I thought at times that it was too drawn out and was repetitive in places. I had a lot of the story figured out after Becky was accused of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, including who was involved with a certain character and what was causing Meghan to be overtly ill at certain times. Still, the ending is dramatic, page-turning, and extremely satisfying.

D.J. Palmer is definitely a writer who can tell an excellent story and his writing skills, even though there were some things that I didn't love about the book, are really excellent, so I look forward to what he writes next! If you like family dramas, medical dramas, psychological suspense, then I recommend you grab this one! It releases on April 9, 2019!

**Thank you, NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the ARC to read in exchange for my fair and honest review.**
Profile Image for Katie B.
1,354 reviews3,008 followers
June 17, 2020
3.5 stars

I didn't like a single character in this book, but yet the story was compelling and enough to hold my interest. It's not exactly a fun read though given the storyline but I do like how it felt different from other books in the mystery thriller genre. The ending was surprising although I am conflicted over whether or not that is a good thing.

Fifteen year old Meghan has been in and out of hospitals with an unexplained illness. Her mother, Becky, is desperate to figure out why Meghan is sick. Becky is hoping a new doctor will be able to come up with a diagnosis and help Meghan get healthy. But that is when things turn into a big ol' mess as accusations of Munchhausen by proxy get thrown around. The story bounces back and forth between several characters including Meghan, Becky, and Meghan's new doctor.

Part of what made this story interesting is there isn't exactly a win-win type outcome in regards to Meghan. If she is truly sick, that's a serious problem. If someone is making her sick or if she if has mental issues that make her believe she is sick, those two things are serious issues as well. I kept pondering which direction I wanted the author to go in but I never quite figured out what was the best scenario other than if Meghan had something wrong with her that could be cured forever with a Flintstones vitamin. (Is it a spoiler if I mention the writer chose not to go in this direction and weave Flintstones vitamins into the story?)

I have mixed feelings about the ending. I like the idea of it more so than the actual execution. I don't like it when I find myself rolling my eyes because the dialogue is so over the top. The author gets points for being creative, but I wish things towards the end felt more realistic instead of a bad tv movie.

I wouldn't say this book is a must read and actually I did debate if this was more of a 3 star read than 3.5 stars. I think if you are a fan of medical thrillers this is a decent pick though.

I won a free copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway by the publisher. I was not obligated to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.

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