The Gift of Life by Josephine Moon. (2019).
**4 out of 5 stars**
Gabby is the owner of a chic new cafe and coffee roasting house in Melbourne. The struggles of her recent heart transplant are behind her and life is looking up until Krystal approaches her convinced that Gabby has her dead husband’s heart. Krystal is struggling to hold her family together and has many unanswered questions about Evan’s death. Krystal thinks that Gabby can help her, and she may be able to help Gabby let go. The two women must come together to try to unlock the secrets in Evan’s heart in order to set free their own.
I quite liked this intriguing book. I feel like it had a lot of food for thought. At the core of the story is an organ transplant and the idea of cellular memory (that memories and personality traits can be stored in organs). I find that concept really cool and also really terrifying! Some big issues are covered in this book: divorced/separated families, single parent/widowed families, postnatal depression, life after organ transplant (medically and emotionally) and unethical lawyer actions. There is a strong undercurrent of family support, particularly in relation to Gabby, her sister Pippa and their father Monty. On the flip side there is Krystal who has minimal family support but a very strong friendship with a fellow school mum who is always there for her. The book includes a whole cast of relatable and likeable characters (excluding Evan’s sister who is extremely unlikable at all times!).
A very thought provoking and entertaining novel that I think will stick with readers long after they finish it.