By the best-selling author of Don't Let Me Go and Pay It Forward, Second Hand Heart is a devastating and unexpected story of love and loss--of learning to live for the first time and learning to live all over again. Vida is only 19, but she knows a lot about dying. Her weak heart has kept her on the edge of death her whole life. It hasn't been much of a life. Thanks to her overprotective mother, Vida's only friend is Esther, an elderly Holocaust survivor who lives upstairs. Vida's heart is finally about to give out unless she can get a donor heart in time. Richard is 36 and blissfully married until he gets the call that his beloved wife has died in a car accident. His world falls to pieces. When Richard is invited to the hospital to meet the young woman who received his wife's donor heart, he goes, even though he's entirely not ready for it. Vida takes one look at Richard and feels she's known and loved him all her life. Richard is horrified by her reaction and thinks Vida is just a sheltered and confused young woman. As Vida and Richard struggle to define themselves in circumstances neither ever thought they'd face, both begin to wonder if it's possible that cellular memory, the idea that memories can be stored in individual cells, might actually be real. Could Vida's heart retain some of the love Richard's wife felt? Can a heart remember, at least for a time, on its own?
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