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The Donor by Helen FitzGerald

The Donor

Literary Fiction   Family Drama   eBook Favourites   
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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

One of our Great Reads you may have missed in 2011.

Everybody should read everything that Helen Fitzgerald has written. She is dark, clever, highly inventive and I believe needs more recognition than she is getting. This human drama is about twin girls, both needing a kidney transplant; their father has two … but … How this dreadful dilemma is faced and solved is beautifully done in a tale told in many voices with a terrific twist. I literally could not put down.

If you like Helen FitzGerald you might also like to read books by Daniel Clay, Louise Welsh and Simon Lelic.

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The Donor by Helen FitzGerald

Will has two perfect kidneys. His daughters aren't so lucky. Question is: which one should he save? Will's 47. His wife bailed out when the twins were in nappies and hasn't been seen since. He coped OK by himself at first, giving Georgie and Kay all the love he could, working in a boring admin job to support them. Just after the twins turn sixteen, Georgie suffers kidney failure and is placed on dialysis. Her type is rare, and Will immediately offers to donate an organ. Without a transplant, she would probably never see adulthood. So far so good. But then Kay gets sick. She's also sixteen. Just as precious. Her kidney type just as rare. Time is critical, and he has to make a decision. Should he buy a kidney - be an organ tourist? Should he save one child? If so, which one? Should he sacrifice himself? Or is there a fourth solution - one so terrible it has never even crossed his mind?


Praise for Helen Fitzgerald:

‘Dead Lovely is not like being on a roller coaster ride. It’s like being strapped into a tiger moth flown by an aerobatic flying ace with a grudge. Outrageous, clever, funny, poignant. Helen Fitzgerald really is one to watch.’ Mo Hayder

‘I loved it! The settings, geographic and emotional, are deeply familiar and yet terrifyingly strange. It’s a thrilling debut from a writer of such talent and assurance it’s hard to believe this is her first book.’ Denise Mina

‘For quality chick-lit with a murderous twist, look no further than FitzGerald’s inimical brand of thinking woman’s noir.’ Sunday Telegraph, 50 best holiday reads

‘Fast paced and quirky ... FitzGerald has a nice way with self-depreciating wit and the ability to write a fast-paced novel that maintains tension throughout.’ Scotland on Sunday

‘Wayward Krissie is an unwilling single mum; unhappily married Sarah aches for a baby. When they go hiking in the Highlands their festering resentments erupt into adultery, weird sex and madness (sounds like the best holiday ever to us). Great fun and oddly moving.’ Tatler

About the Author

Helen FitzGerald

Helen FitzGerald is one of thirteen children and grew up in Victoria, Australia. She now lives in Glasgow with her husband and two children. Helen has worked as a social worker for over ten years. She has published four other novels with Faber: Dead Lovely, My Last Confession, The Donor and most recently The Cry, which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year.

Author photo © Anna Casci

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Book Info

Publication date

21st July 2011


Helen FitzGerald

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Faber and Faber


320 pages


Literary Fiction
Family Drama
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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