Andrea reviews SAVING MEGHAN by D.J. Palmer, St.Martin’s Press, 2019,  369 pages.

Munchausen Syndrome by proxy (as defined by is a mental health problem in which a caregiver makes up or causes an illness or injury in a person under his or her care, such as a child, an elderly adult, or a person who has a disability. Because vulnerable people are the victims, MSBP is a form of child or elder abuse.

Becky Gerard’s entire existence revolves around her fifteen-year-old daughter, Meghan, ever since she collapsed on the soccer field a few months ago. Most parents would probably let it go since it was a single incident, and the emergency room doctor even said Meghan was just dehydrated. Not Becky, though. She demands lab test after test be run and even if those come back inconclusive, she wants more bloodwork done. All of this is exhausting to everyone involved, especially Meghan and her father, Carl.

Eventually, Becky hits paydirt when meeting the divorced Dr. Zachary Fisher who believes Meghan is suffering from the same rare affliction that his own young son died from.

Other hospital specialists are not so sure of Zach’s diagnosis. In fact, most believe Becky is a hysterical mother who has MSBP. The signs are all there, especially since it is revealed Becky’s own mother exaggerated her own symptoms in order to stay on disability.

Time is running out and Meghan is getting sicker and sicker. Is Becky a monster forcing different ailments on her own child? Does Meghan have something really medically wrong with her? Or are both of them faking things to get attention?

This is a brilliant psychological thriller with plenty of surprises.