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Law of Similars [Paperback]

Chris Bohjalian
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Dec 1999
" The Law of Similars is fast-paced and absorbing. Few writers can manipulate a plot with Bohjalian's grace and power."-The New York Times Book Review


From the number one bestselling author of Midwives comes this riveting medical thriller about a lawyer, a homeopath, and a tragic death.  When one of homeopath Carissa Lake's patients falls into an allergy-induced coma, possibly due to her prescribed remedy, Leland Fowler's office starts investigating the case.  

But Leland is also one of Carissa's patients, and he is begining to realize that he has fallen in love with her.  As love and legal obligations collide, Leland comes face-to-face with an ethical dilemma of enormous proportions.  Graceful, intelligent, and suspenseful, The Law of Similars is a powerful examination of the links between hope and hubris, love and deception.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Angus & Robertson (30 Dec 1999)
  • ISBN-10: 0732264219
  • ISBN-13: 978-0732264215
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,308,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I stayed up all night to finish this book, great understanding of characters and of nature medicine and the commuity lack of understanding
Well done
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SIMILAR IS THE OPERATIVE WORD... 10 Nov 2002
By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is a very well written book, though a little disconcerting in its thematic similarity to the author's previous novel, "Midwives", which is the superior of the two. Yet again, the medical and legal professions are in some conflict, and it makes for some interesting, though questionable, moral choices.
Here, a widowed prosecuting attorney, Leland Fowler, the single parent of a young child, is living in a rural town in Vermont. Not having felt well for months, he visits the town's resident homeopath and finds himself feeling better, both physically and emotionally, because the homeopath, Clarissa Lake, is just what the doctor ordered.
Shortly after Clarissa and Leland connect, a patient of hers goes into anaphylactic shock, digresses into a coma and dies, ostensibly after eating cashews to which he was allergic, after a casual conversation with Clarissa and a belief in the homeopathic law of similars that like cures like. Leland, emotionally involved with Clarissa, becomes embroiled in a covert attempt to shield her from the legal repercussions that he knows could follow such a tragedy, even though it might not have been entirely of her making. It is here that the book unravels a bit.
This ethical digression on the part of Leland is somewhat difficult to believe, as he had had a very brief relationship with Clarissa. It is almost inconceivable that he would chance losing his entire professional future and the security that his profession provides his small daughter in order to engage in a major ethical breach. A breach so serious, that were it to come to light, would almost certainly result in his probable disbarment from the practice of law. Needless to say, this decision by him ultimately affects their relationship in a way not foreseen by Leland.
Nonetheless, the book is somewhat absorbing and well worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing read 30 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I thorougly enjoyed this book. It was very well written and I enjoyed the story from a male perspective. I also have to agree with the reader from Ohio that, from a female perspective, the sex scene was rather refreshing, in comparison to most offered from male authors. The ending perhaps wasn't as expected. However, this again was a pleasant change!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Once again Bohjalian has captured life in small town Vermont, with vivid settings and believeable characters. As in Midwives, the story involves generally upstanding people in unexpected predicaments of moral ambiguity. This time it's a lawyer, a grieving young widower who has his first romance since his wife's death. But his infatuation with the woman leads him to do something illegal on her behalf. Then his guilt haunts him like a poison -- a situation made more complicated by the fact that he is deliberately injesting tiny doses of arsenic in order to cure a relentless cold. And a coldness in his heart. He succeeds, but not without pain, and self-discovery that includes taking himself off the workaholic pedastal he and everyone around him has built. As in Midwives, there is a sad kind of truth to the characters' growth. But this book is a more compelling read, because in Midwives a jury decides the outcome, and in The Law of Similars no one can save the central character but himself.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Law of Similar Novels 24 Mar 2013
Format:Hardcover
This is very like Midwives, which I thought was brilliant. The same pitch, second-time around, well I am not so sure. Carissa Taylor is a homeopath. She is treating a man for asthma and eczema. He stops taking his regular meds and then eats a nut to which he knows he is allergic and dies. He may have done this on the misunderstood advice of Carissa. Fortunately for Carissa another of her patients and briefly lover is a state prosecutor. I will not outline the story from there, so as not to give the plot away. The author is reasonably informed about homeopathy and is good at court-room drama,as so many American writers are. He dissects the pulls of love, truth and professionalism on Carissa, who proves a strong charcater. People who have not read Midwives will enjoy it more than those who have already gone down the medical misdemeanour road with our author.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Law Of Similars 3 Nov 2009
By A. & C.
Format:Paperback
This was an interesting if a little overlong book. Chris Boujhalian is an unusual author in that he chooses a different topic for each of his books. I had him recommended by a friend of similar interests and I have read several of his books with still more of his books to read. I think this was one of his earlier books and I do feel he gets better as he goes along.

The book was a used copy and arrived in quite a sorry state but still readable and at one penny what can I expect!

I look forward to reading further of the author's novels in the future.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The World of Homeopathy 16 May 2009
By Lincs Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
Synopsis

From the number one bestselling author of Midwives comes this riveting medical thriller about a lawyer, a homeopath, and a tragic death. When one of homeopath Carissa Lake's patients falls into an allergy-induced coma, possibly due to her prescribed remedy, Leland Fowler's office starts investigating the case.

But Leland is also one of Carissa's patients, and he is begining to realize that he has fallen in love with her. As love and legal obligations collide, Leland comes face-to-face with an ethical dilemma of enormous proportions. Graceful, intelligent, and suspenseful, The Law of Similars is a powerful examination of the links between hope and hubris, love and deception.

This is the third of Chris Bohjalian's novels that I have read, the others being Buffalo Soliders and Midwives.
Midwives is one of my all time favourite reads and it must be extremely difficult to live up to.
The Law Of Similars is a good read, albeit a little rushed I felt. I didnt feel as though I really knew any of the characters very well.
I liked the idea for the story - although it was very similar to Midwives, and again I found myself comparing it for most of the time.
The references to homeopathy were very interesting - and the setting was vividly described.
An entertaining and short read but not a patch on the other two books by him that I have read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Starts off well, but overall weak.
Did not read Midwives. This was my first Chris Bohjalian book. I was looking forward to it because I had read good things about Midwives, I live in Vermont and I know some... Read more
Published on 28 Aug 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging story but weak ending
Very interesting premise that had me turning pages. I thought I had figured out the ending but was disappointed by what I thought was a weaking ending to a captivating story.
Published on 27 Aug 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not as good as Midwives
This novel presents an interesting view of homeopathy and conveys a lot of information without being overly didactic or condescending. Read more
Published on 29 July 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing look at holistic medicine.
As the wife of a holistic physician, I was immediately drawn to Bohjalian's newest book, The Law of Similars. Read more
Published on 17 July 1999
3.0 out of 5 stars The ending fizzled out....
Enjoyed the first two thirds of the book,but for me the conclusion crumbled....I kept "waiting" for some exciting explanation of what the arsenic was actually doing to... Read more
Published on 17 July 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars I'll buy 'em all!
After the thrill of MIDWIVES I was a little nervous about trying Bohjalian's new book. Far from a sophomore slump, THE LAW OF SIMILARS takes off with a page-turning plot line and... Read more
Published on 7 July 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is better than "Midwives".
I am a little disconcerted about the similarities between "Midwives" and "The Law of Similars". Read more
Published on 6 July 1999
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