Saturday, January 25, 2014
Gemini by Carol Cassela
4.0 out of 5 stars - Medical drama, mystery and love story...
Dr. Charlotte Reese, an intensivist, is on duty at Beacon Hospital near Puget Sound when an unidentified woman is admitted to the ICU -- the victim of a vehicular hit and run. Severely injured and unresponsive, the Jane Doe begins to consume Charlotte's thoughts and life. Who is this woman and why has no one reported her missing? Since there is no family to give medical directive, the hospital executives and legal team step in to assume responsibility. Meanwhile, in her personal life, Charlotte, is conflicted over her relationship with Eric as it seems to be going nowhere.
Flashback to a small town near Olympic National Park where Raney, 13 years old and living with her grandfather, meets Bo, a twelve year old boy who is visiting for the summer. The shift in perspective and time was disconcerting until this second story's connection became obvious.
Throughout the rest of the narrative, this changing point of view provided the backstory that ultimately connects to the present day and current situation with all the characters. The conclusion is predictable and mostly satisfying though I found it ultimately quite heartbreaking.
I have read Cassella's two previous books (Oxygen and Healer) and was so excited to see a new one. The writing is beautiful and a smooth blend of scientific fact, philosophy, religious speculation, discussion of ethical issues, and an exploration of love in its many forms. The female characters are multidimensional and believable. I would have preferred more medical focus and a more linear tale by a single narrator, but the construction of the story does work when it converges. The author provides many subjects for discussion and debate so it would be a great choice for a book club.
This book was an ARC and reviewed for Amazon Vine.