Oxygen by Carol Cassella
This is an amazing first novel by anesthesiologist, Carol Cassella. Dr. Marie Heaton, the protagonist, is also an anesthesiologist at Lutheran Hospital in Seattle. The book will give you an inside look at what makes doctors tick and how they interact with one another.
Simply put this book delves into what happens when a bright, accomplished, and well-respected doctor loses a patient on the operating table. The patient happens to be a child and the consequences run deep into her psyche. Will she ever be able to muster the self-confidence needed to ask patients to put their lives in her hands?
This story is part mystery, part love story, part what-is-the-meaning-of-life story. I won’t give away the story, but I will say I had a suspicion about what had happened prior to the unraveling of the plot.
The ending of this story is messy in the sense that you will find yourself wishing it could have been different. You really want to root for a happier ending, but I give the author credit for not taking the easy way out.
And if this book isn’t one currently being read by a majority of book clubs, it should. Not only will the story keep you reading into the night, the prose is lyrical. Here’s just a snippet:
“Yet.” What a generous, forgiving word, so opulent with possibility-the carrot perpetually dangled from the advancing stick of denial.
It is writing like this that fills the pages of this well-crafted story.
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