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DO NO HARM by Christina McDonald is one of those books that has you:
1) constantly wondering who’s really done what to whom
2) constantly wondering how he/she/they are going to figure out how to get out of the shit they’re in
3) constantly going 😲
I sometimes like to go back to the beginning of a book once I’ve finished and re-read the opening chapter. In this case, I did just that. It’s kind of like when you get to the end of The Sixth Sense and everything clicks into place, and then you want to re-watch it to see all the signs you missed the first time around so you can go “Ohhhh!” In the first chapter of DO NO HARM, there is so much foreshadowing. Christina does an excellent job at setting up the story and making you want to keep reading. It was so satisfying to re-read Chapter One because she ties up the end of the story so perfectly and mentions several things that were laid out at the beginning.
Each chapter is cleverly written to suck you into Emma’s world (in a good way!) The author’s words flow beautifully from one page to the next, and it was easy for me to see the surroundings, smell the smells, taste the tastes, feel what the characters were feeling. Christina’s descriptions are top notch. The stakes are so high to begin with, but there is so much more that happens, so there is always action and I gasped more than just a couple times. By the end, I was both shocked and crying (always the sign of a good book for me!)
Emma is our protagonist. She has everything she wants in life: a great marriage to a wonderful man, a beautiful son, and she’s a doctor who loves to help others. She’s a kind soul with a good heart, but she has a troubled past – and now, a troubled future, when she and her husband, Nate, discover that their son is very ill. In order to save her son’s life, Emma takes matters into her own hands and uses connections from her past to get involved in a dangerous web of drugs, lies, and deceit. She is not the person she ever thought she’d have to be, but she will go to any lengths to ensure her son can live. To make matters more interesting, Nate is the detective who’s heading up the investigation on drug overdoses and possible connected murders in the town they live in, and Emma must stay under the radar and deflect blame. She is the mouse, and her own husband is the cat.
Desperation can make a person do things they never thought they were capable of. Sometimes you have to do bad things for good reasons, and that begs the question: Does the end always justify the means?
When you have children, you are thrust into a brand new world of knowing you’d do anything to protect your child/children. It’s something you cannot possibly grasp until you become a parent. As a mom of five, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for any of them, I know. This book dives deeply into that concept and it pulls at your heartstrings with the decisions that Emma is faced with in order to save her son. There were many lines in the story that spoke volumes to me, and there were parts that had me cringing, rooting for Emma and hoping she wouldn’t get caught.
I don’t put spoilers in my book reviews, but GAH! I want to talk about this book so much! There is so much controversy it deals with! It really does make you think: how far would you go to protect your child or children?
I would (and will!) highly recommend this book to all of my friends and followers. Masterfully written, emotions and descriptions and action scream out from every page, every chapter and I just cannot say enough good things about DO NO HARM.
If you’ve read it, let me know what you think in the comments!