Debbie V. (Jupiter, FL)
The Doctor and the Diva
I found it very hard to really care about the characters or what happened to them. The story lacked any believable passion - whether it was the relationship between Ravell & Erika or Erika & Peter or Erika's rather contrived desire for a child -I don't think Ms. McDonnell developed any of the storylines enough initially. While I think the author did a good job capturing the atmosphere and cultural norms of the early 20th century - her writing was so dry that it made the story and characters feel pretty "flat." I was disappointed as I generally love historical fiction.
Duane F. (cape girardeau, MO)
The Doctor and the Diva
This was a good "beach/winter's night book"! It was an easy read, the characters were well developed, the plot thickened and there was a surprise or two. I don't believe that people are all good or all evil... Most of us have huge arguments within. We are not always going to make good decisions. I loved the author's style and descriptions. Having been to Trinidad and Boston, it brought me back to the wonders of the tropics, the bustle of the city and it took me easily to Italy and described its excitement also. Women were so trapped in society's "should and should nots" in this era. It was easy to see why Ericka was torn between wanting a child and wanting a career, something we all take for granted. It was difficult to watch her leave her child, and strike out on her own. It was also interesting to see the progression of her two male interests, her husband and her physician, as they vied for her affections. None of them understood the magnitude of their choices.
The only thing that I felt missing was the possibility of the legal ramifications to each. That would have made this book a 5 and a real spell binder. As it stands it is a beautiful love story and a satisfying read.
Dorothy T. (Victorville, CA)
There are many elements in this novel that ring of truth. The story is believable and well-paced, right down to a climax that led me to almost shout aloud, "No! It can't happen like this!" The descriptions of what it feels like to release the music inside—to sing well—are so true that the author has to have felt that herself, but how did she find the right words? The overriding truth of this novel, though, is that all of us make choices that, no matter what the motivation, force us to face consequences we may not have anticipated.
I think this novel would be a great book club selection and is for anyone who loves music and/or travel to a tropical paradise or Italy at the turn of the 20th century.
Andrea S. (Lafayette, IN)
Not As Good As I Had Hoped
I like historical novels and thought the premise of this one sounded good. I didn't enjoy reading it as much. I never became interested in the characters and didn't really care what happened to them. I thought that the author's writing style was stiff, just didn't appeal to me. Other people may enjoy it. There is a lot of material to discuss for book groups about women's roles in the early 19th century and fertility techniques.
Connie C. (woodhaven, MI)
Doctor and the Diva
I'm having difficulty writing a review for this book. Although I wanted to keep reading to find out how it was going to end I felt like I needed more. I rated it a 4 but, if I could, I would probably give it a 3.5.
Jill S. (Eagle, ID)
The Docotr and the Diva
This book captivated me from the start. It is an easy and engaging read. The issues tackled in the book--fertility, career and love are timeless. Although some of the transitions are choppy, the characters are believable and well developed. This book would be great for any bookclub discussion.
Lynn R. (Wautoma, WI)
The Doctor and the Diva
This book was a fairly easy read. The main locations of this story are Boston, Italy and South America. The descriptions of Italy and South America are excellent. I could see these places in my mind easily and since I have never been to either place, this was wonderful. Since it was said that the characters, Erika and her husband Peter were based on a real people, I really did not like either of them. They chose to have a child, they did more than choose, they tried things to conceive a child that were fairly experimental in the era of the book. She wanted to move to Italy to follow a career in opera and her husband traveled extensively with his import business located in Boston. Neither person wanting to give up anything for the sake of a child. This poor child never felt love the way a child should while growing up. We wonder why our children today are so messed up. I felt the ending of the story was the only way it could have ended in real life, not very happy. Although Erika seemed content with her life in the end, I feel she must have been very sad! I felt that the book was trying to make you feel compassion for Erika, but I did not. I only felt compassion for Quentin, the child.