In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth
Eagan has always known she would die young. She couldn’t have guessed that one small mistake in footing, a mere half-inch off would ultimately cause her untimely death. But what she really couldn’t have guessed is that her death would give life to another girl.
Amelia too has always known she would die young. But she didn’t have to guess at what would cause her death. She knew all too well that the weak heart that struggled to beat within her chest would cause it. But what she couldn’t guess was that the transplant beeper would sound at the same exact moment one heart stopped beating, and would give her the life she never had.
Eagan finds herself lost and roaming somewhere in the in between. Surrounded by mist and grayness she finds herself reminiscing both the good and the bad memories that make up her life, memories like spending time with her beloved grandfather, relentlessly arguing with her overbearing mother, and even those few short months worth of memories with her first boyfriend, her first love Scott. But it isn’t until an unnamed child leads Eagan to where she needs to be: inside a dream letting go of the past, and moving on to the big ice ring above without worry, sorrow, or hesitation. It isn’t until she realizes that, even though she’s gone, a part of her will live on – beating within Amelia’s chest.
As Amelia’s life slowly begins to start she finds herself struggling with the realities of having a fully healthy and functional heart: that this new heart isn’t truly hers, and is filled with a lifetime of memories that does not belong to her. But with the help of a new friend Amelia finds that, through her new heart and new memories, she won’t only live but she’ll live enough for two.
Loretta Ellsworth has written a heart-wrenching yet touching story that explores both sides of organ donation – dealing with death and dealing with a (new) life. Told through alternating perspectives, Ellsworth really excels at creating two unique, distinctive voices for her powerful characters that fully fuel the book. It’s through these alternating chapters that readers will be able to truly gauge what kind of character’s they are.
This book is well written book that manages to handle delicate situations with ease and grace. Readers will be hooked from the earliest onset straight through to the very end. It’s captivating, emotionally fueled, and a one of a kind book.
In a Heartbeat is a work of art showing where one life ends another one opens. Ellsworth has managed to find an equal balance between two very separate stories that will eventually collide and become one.