Healer: Book summary and reviews of Healer by Carol Cassella

Healer

A Novel

by Carol Cassella

Healer by Carol Cassella X
Healer by Carol Cassella
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2010
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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About this book

Book Summary

From national bestselling author Carol Cassella comes the story of one doctor's struggle to hold her family together through a storm of broken trust and questioned ethics.

Claire is at the start of her medical career when she falls in love with Addison Boehning, a biochemist with blazing genius and big dreams. A complicated pregnancy deflects Claire's professional path, and she is forced to drop out of her residency. Soon thereafter Addison invents a simple blood test for ovarian cancer, and his biotech start-up lands a fortune.

Overnight the Boehnings are catapulted into a financial and social tier they had never anticipated or sought: they move into a gracious Seattle home and buy an old ranch in the high desert mountains of eastern Washington, and Claire drifts away from medicine to become a full-time wife and mother. Then Addison gambles everything on a cutting-edge cancer drug, and when the studies go awry, their comfortable life is swept away. Claire and her daughter, Jory, move to a dilapidated ranch house in rural Hallum, where Claire has to find a job until Addison can salvage his discredited lab. Her only offer for employment comes from a struggling public health clinic, but Claire gets more than a second chance at medicine when she meets Miguela, a bright Nicaraguan immigrant and orphan of the contra war who has come to the United States on a secret quest to find the family she has lost. As their friendship develops, a new mystery unfolds that threatens to destroy Claire’s family and forces her to question what it truly means to heal.

Healer exposes the vulnerabilities of the American family, provoking questions of choice versus fate, desire versus need, and the duplicitous power of money.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Cassella (a real-life doctor) takes a hard look at a faulty health-care system to illustrate the power of money and class in this timely and multifaceted novel." - Publishers Weekly

"This tale of middle-class hardship touches buttons yet rarely plumbs real emotional depths." - Kirkus

"A startling plot twist, combined with Cassella's first-hand understanding of our ailing healthcare system, makes this involving debut just what the doctor ordered." - People

"The ethics of the drama, and Cassella’s portrayal of the very real and contemporary flaws in our health-care system, make this novel a promising debut." - Seattle Times

"In her debut novel, Carol Cassella has crafted a rich, layered tale. This medical mystery - which could have easily been rendered in shades of black and white - is told with lyric grace and deep compassion. Like her protagonist, Carol Cassella has the heart of a poet and the mind of a physician; the result is a striking meditation on the complexities of love, the fragile miracle that is the human body, and the burdens and blessings of being a healer. Closing this book left me with a sense of wonder, gratitude, and hard-won redemption." - Stephanie Kallos, author of Broken for You

"A deeply powerful story about the intricate intersection of marriage, motherhood, and career. Clear-eyed and compassionate, Carol Cassella takes her readers on the roller-coaster ride of a marriage and family shaken by financial upheaval." - Erica Bauermeister, author of The School of Essential Ingredients

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Reader Reviews

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Diane Dellicker

Life Choices
After reading Gemini, I HAD to read Carol's first two books. I was blown away by all the things covered in this book, and I would have given it a 5 rating, except for the fact that I was left up in the air about some of the things that happened. I guess I like everything tied up, neatly.

The problems brought out in this book are things people need to hear about and some of which they should try to help solve, though they will probably never be solved in our lifetimes. As with her other books, I feel this would be another good one for discussion, with the family, financial, medical and moral issues involved.

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Author Information

Carol Cassella Author Biography

Photo: Christie Jenkins

Carol Cassella, MD, is a practicing anesthesiologist, novelist, and speaker. She majored in English Literature at Duke University and attended Baylor College of Medicine. She is the bestselling author of the novels Oxygen and Healer, both published by Simon & Schuster. Carol lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington, with her husband and two sets of twins.

Author Interview
Link to Carol Cassella's Website

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  • Gemini jacket
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