A stranger's life hangs in the balance. What if you had the power to decide if she lives or dies?
Dr. Charlotte Reese works in the intensive care unit of Seattle's Beacon Hospital, tending to patients with the most life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Her job is to battle death - to monitor erratic heartbeats, worry over low oxygen levels, defend against infection and demise.
One night a Jane Doe is transferred to her care from a rural hospital on the Olympic Peninsula. This unidentified patient remains unconscious, the victim of a hit and run. As Charlotte and her team struggle to stabilize her, the police search for the driver who fled the scene.
Days pass, Jane's condition worsens, and her identity remains a mystery. As Charlotte finds herself making increasingly complicated medical decisions that will tie her forever to Jane's fate, her usual professional distance evaporates. She's plagued by questions: Who is Jane Doe? Why will no one claim her? Who should decide her fate if she doesn't regain consciousness - and when?
Perhaps most troubling, Charlotte wonders if a life locked in a coma is a life worth living.
Enlisting the help of her boyfriend, Eric, a science journalist, Charlotte impulsively sets out to uncover Jane Doe's past. But the closer they get to the truth, the more their relationship is put to the test. It is only when they open their hearts to their own feelings toward each otherand toward life itselfthat Charlotte and Eric will unlock Jane Doe's shocking secret, and prepare themselves for a miracle.
Filled with intricate medical detail and set in the breathtaking Pacific Northwest, Gemini is a riveting and heartbreaking novel of moral complexity and emotional depth.
It is natural law that all complex systems move from a state of order to disorder. Stars decay, mountains erode, ice melts. People get off no easier. We get old or injured and inevitably slide right back into the elements we were first made from. The organized masterpiece of conception, birth, and maturation is really only two steps forward before three steps back, at least in the physical world. Sometimes when Charlotte lost a patient she thought about that and found it comfortinga reminder that she hadn't failed in what was ultimately an unwinnable game. But if she thought about it too long, she had to wonder if her entire medical career was an interminable battle against the will of the universe.
She resisted sinking into such rhetoric the night Jane Doe was whisked across Puget Sound in a medevac helicopter to Beacon Hospital's intensive care unit, to Charlotte. It seemed they always came in the middle of the night, the ones from the more ...
With expert foreshadowing so delicate that I missed it on the first read, Cassella draws me in with wicked plot twists until I can’t wait to find out how it all ends, but I don’t want it to end because her descriptions of things, emotions, feelings are so good that I want more.
(Reviewed by Donna Chavez).
Full Review (830 words).
Nature, in all its astounding wisdom, has graced the planet, specifically human beings, with millions of options when it comes to heritable genetic conditions. It is always exciting for expectant parents to anticipate whether their offspring will be the gleeful recipient of Mum's freckles or great-granddad's aquiline profile. On balance is the potential to pass on the not-so-delightful options such as Dad's thirst for the hard stuff or worse, a condition such as neurofibromatosis.
Neurofibromatosis (NF) causes excessive unchecked tissue growth around a body's nerves. It primarily affects the brain, spine, nerves and skin but can affect other areas of the body as well. This unchecked tissue growth can result in benign ...
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