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Mary O. (Boston, MA)
a perfect diva
The Doctor and the Diva captured my interest from the start. It is a book that is hard to put down and a perfect page turning "summer beach read". The twists and turns all point to how passion drives the soul. You feel like you are a world traveler embracing each character's life and journey. A great read!
Kathy S. (DeForest, WI)
A Love Story of a Family
This book is not only a beautiful love story, but a good book to learn about early obstetric practices, Trinidad and Italian opera.
Linda S. (Oceanside, NY)
I am a huge fan of historical fiction so I was really looking forward to this book. It started off really well, I found the information on infertility treatment in the early part of the 20th century fascinating. However in the middle of the book the story got bogged down in too much detail, so much so that I found it hard to continue on at times. In addition the three main characters, in spite of some good intentions, were are so selfish I found it difficult to like them. The only one I had any real sympathy for was the child. Each adult in this book made choices without really considering the ramifications and although at times a compelling story in the end it was more disappointing than enjoyable.
Sally G. (Saint Johns, FL)
I gravitated to this book as the reviews stated the story was born of a real person but fictionalized.
Jinny K. (Fremont, CA)
It started out very strong and the characters were very much like the yuppy culture of today. As it went on I started to dislike Erika as a spoiled brat. She was gifted with the voice of an angel and yet angry as she could not have a child. I almost felt her stamping of feet….but I want a child and then continue my dream to sing opera in Italy. The husband, Peter, was almost as bad.
Enter the timeless issue of fertility and the doctor, Dr. Ravell , with his modern designs for infertility treatment.
The three lives become intertwined in Boston, beautiful and lush coconut plantations in Trinidad and finally in Italy.
This book has a romantic story to tell and is an easy read.
What an enjoyable first novel. The author tells a good tale with authentic and likable characters. The themes of love and longing are depicted realistically, and the locations are vividly portrayed. The infertility theme was engaging, and especially intriguing given the time frame of the book - who knew there was so much going on in this specialty so long ago?
Jennifer F. (Saratoga, CA)
Disappointing, lack of character development
I found The Doctor and the Diva to be a disappointing read, although it had moments of potential. Both the doctor and the diva led interesting lives, yet their choices were regularly selfish and predictable. In the end, I found the main characters to be unlikable, and therefore, I didn't much care about what happened to them.
Randi H. (Bronx, NY)
The Doctor & the Diva
This is a story about a love triangle, set in the early 1900s in Boston, Trinidad, and Italy.
Debbie V. (Jupiter, FL)
The Doctor and the Diva
Overall, I found The Doctor & the Diva to be a disappointing read. While the book started on a strong note and kept me engaged at first, less than a quarter of the way into the story the plot petered out. As the book went on (and on), I never developed a connection to any of the main characters -- Erika, her husband Peter, or her lover Dr. Ravell. Additionally, I found a lot of the story and the situations of the characters to be unbelievable. And the ending was a bit too much like a fairy tale to be at all believed.
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.