Warm welcome this morning to Melissa Hill who joins me for a stop on the Keep You Safe blog tour with a guest post!
Keep You Safe is Melissa’s latest novel, tackling issues of parenting, vaccination and social responsibility. I’m reading this now and as a parent myself, find it terrifying, Heart wrenching and gripping! Melissa’s guest post profiles the two main characters, Kate and Madeleine – giving us a little insight into what makes them tick. Enjoy!
For readers who love issue-driven fiction, Melissa Hill has written a breakout novel exploring the “to vaccinate or not” debate and the tragic consequences of one mother’s decision on another.
Single mom Kate O’Donnell is living her worst nightmare. Her young daughter, Clara, who has a medical condition that doesn’t allow her to be vaccinated, becomes critically ill when one of her classmates, Lauren-whose family chose not to vaccinate-contracts and spreads the virus. While Lauren has no trouble recovering from the disease, Clara’s condition worsens. With time spent by her daughter’s bedside, Kate loses her job and slides deeper into medical debt. But when another school parent points the blame at Lauren’s mother, Lucy, and the media begins an attack, we see two very different views on parenting and how badly things can spin out of control when all either of these two women wanted was to keep their daughters safe.
Keep You Safe – Character Profiles
Single mum Kate O’Hara, widowed two years before the story begins, lives in the small Irish town of Knockroe with her five-year-old daughter Rosie.
They are both quite new to the community, the family having moved there not long before Kate’s husband Greg, passed away unexpectedly.
Kate is a nursing professional who works locally, and she and Rosie enjoy a wonderfully close relationship and in Greg’s absence, have gradually developed well-rehearsed household and family routines.
As the story begins, Rosie has just started school, the worst of Kate’s grief is subsiding and she’s begun to come out of her shell a little, making friends with some of the other mums at Rosie’s school, Applewood primary.
Having weathered a tough few years she’s on the verge of getting her life back and looking forward to moving on. Rosie herself is flourishing, she loves school, has a wide range of interests and is an outgoing and friendly little girl.
Money is short and while Kate occasionally feels lonely and isolated from other family, for the most part, life in Knockroe is good.
But there is one ongoing worry that Kate can never ignore; Rosie has a medical condition that means she cannot be vaccinated. For this reason, Kate needs to keep a very close eye on any infectious childhood diseases going round the school or the locality, because it’s entirely up to her to keep her daughter safe.
Another resident – this one Knockroe born and bred – is mummy blogger Madeleine Cooper, who lives with her husband Tom and their two children, Jake and Clara. They are an affluent family with a big house in the town, and lots of family support close by.
Madeleine is popular amongst the locals, though her increased media appearances and occasionally controversial stance on motherhood ensures she has some detractors, namely some of the other Applewood Primary school mums.
Like Kate, Madeleine wants the absolute best for her children. Which is why she’s working tooth and nail to build her mummy blogging empire and regain some of the independence – financial and personal – she lost since having the kids and being a stay at home mum. A former high-flying marketing consultant, she really struggled with self-identity and found the early days of childrearing a challenge.
A self-proclaimed ‘unmumsy mum’, Madeleine also found it difficult to identify with fellow new mums, and as such felt isolated from the local mother/toddler community.
Instead, she turned to internet and found a tribe of like-minded people there, and a series of humorous posts and articles about the harsh realities of motherhood soon led to ‘Mad Mum’, her popular blog with a burgeoning number of followers – and subsequently some advertising deals.
Ultimately, Madeleine is unapologetic about her belief that mums need to give themselves a break and aim to balance their own needs against parental obligations.
But she’s also made some choices that Kate didn’t have the luxury of choosing.
While Kate is unable to vaccinate her daughter, Madeleine and her husband Tom decided against vaccinating their children because they are wary of potential side effects.
Kate and Madeleine’s worlds collide when Rosie and Clara both become ill with measles, and KEEP YOU SAFE is the story of two mothers, two different choices and two very different outcomes.
Melissa Hill, 2017.
About The Author
Melissa Hill lives in County Wicklow with her husband and daughter.
A USA Today and international No 1 bestseller, she is the author of 15 novels. A TV adaptation of A GIFT TO REMEMBER will be released as Hallmark Christmas movie in 2017 and SOMETHING FROM TIFFANY’S is currently in development with a major Hollywood studio.
Melissa’s books have been translated into 25 different languages including Bulgarian, German, Czech, Finnish, Latvian, Serbian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Brazilian, Thai and Chinese and have hit bestseller lists in multiple countries. The Italian edition of SOMETHING FROM TIFFANY’S, ‘Un Regalo da Tiffany’ spent eight weeks at No 1 in Italy, selling over 600,000 copies, making it one of the bestselling 2011 Italian books overall.
Her writing combines all the warmth and humour of contemporary women’s fiction with plots that keep readers guessing from page to page.
Melissa also co-writes forensic thrillers with her husband Kevin under the pen-name Casey Hill, featuring crime scene investigator Reilly Steel. For more information visit http://www.facebook.com/caseyhillbooks.