Friday, September 9, 2016


Saving Phoebe Murrow

by Herta Feely
Published September 2nd, 2016 by Upper Hand Press LLC
ISBN 0996439560
425 pages

A story about the timeless struggle between mothers and their teen daughters with a razor-sharp 21st century twist. This heart-wrenching, harrowing debut novel for fans of Big Little Lies (Liane Moriarty) and Reconstructing Amelia (Kimberly McCreight) will make you question what's needed to keep your children from harm.

Phoebe's mother, Isabel, is precariously balancing her career and her family. Hard-working and caring, worried but supportive, all Isabel wants, in a world of bullies and temptations, is to keep her daughter Phoebe safe. With her busy schedule, though, she fails to recognize another mother's mounting fury and the danger Phoebe faces by flirting with a mysterious boy on Facebook. A cyberbullying episode aimed at Phoebe pushes her to the edge with horrific consequences. In her search for justice, Isabel, a DC lawyer, sets out to find the culprit behind this cruel incident.

Saving Phoebe Murrow, set amidst the complicated web of adolescent relationships, tells a story of miscommunication and malice, drugs and Facebook, prejudice and revenge.

WOW, what a mind blowing book. This is a must read for parents in this era where computers consume our lives. I loved the author's descriptive writing and all the incredible twists and turns you never see coming. It is an astonishing realistic portrayal of CRAZY parents and how detrimental cyber bullying is to a teenager. When I was young we did not have the internet so all bullying basically happened at school. Therefore, the bullying did not follow us home or spread like wildfire to all your peers at one time.

First, we have Isabel, who puts her work as a high falutin’ lawyer and social status before her daughter Phoebe, who is just trying to fit in her freshman year. Isabel judges whom Phoebe can be friends with by the social status and sophistication of the girlfriend's mother not by the actual girl herself. Isabel makes rash decisions, not considering the consequences of how it will affect Phoebe mentally or her life at school. Phoebe has been a responsible teenager yet is easily deceived by a monstrous person lurking in cyberspace. Teenagers can be bitterly cruel not understanding that what they type on a screen can afflict just as much pain as if they say it to a person's face. Therefore, when a teenage girl's computer screen lights up with terrible insults what does she do to take the pain away?

Second, there is Sandy, who married up in life, having zero couth and does not fit in socially with the other mothers especially Isabel. Sandy's daughter Jessie is one of Phoebe's close friends until Isabel has had enough of Sandy's lax attitude to parenting. Such as letting minors drink under her supervision, giving Jessie birth control informing her daughter “more than anything boys want to have sex and she should have fun” and that is just the tip of the iceberg concerning Sandy and her scandalous behavior.

As the two girls try their hardest to be normal teenagers the mothers in their life are ripping it apart. The book incorporates ghastly parenting from two different ends of the spectrum. One end is completely crazy, the other you will have to read the book to find out. Do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy today.


Herta Feely (also published as Herta B. Feely) is a writer and full-time editor. Her short stories and memoir have been published in anthologies and literary journals, including The Sun, Lullwater Review, The Griffin, Provincetown Arts, and Big Muddy. In the wake of the James Frey scandal, Feely edited and published the anthology, Confessions: Fact or Fiction? She was awarded the James Jones First Novel Fellowship and an Artist in Literature Fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities for The Trials of Serra Blue. She has also received an award from American Independent Writers for best published personal essay for a piece on immigration. A graduate of UC Berkeley and Johns Hopkins University, Feely is the co-founder of Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization dedicated to saving children from unintentional injuries, the leading killer of children in the United States. Her newest book, Saving Phoebe Murrow, will be released in September of 2016. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and cats.

Thank you, Upper Hand Press, for allowing me to review this book
All opinions are my own


  1. Upper Hand Press thanks you for a great review of a great book. Hooray for Herta Feely: We are so proud to have her as an Upper Hand Press author!