Impressive first novel,
This review is from: Oxygen: A Novel (Hardcover)
This writer clearly has the expertise to tackle this novel. She is a real anethesiologist. Given my own medical background, it was really refreshing to read a story about a medical professional without the inevitable, oh that would never happen moments, that you find with non-medical professionals who try to tell as story like this one and fall short.
Told in first person narrative you live the story with the main character. A child has died in the operating room. The anesthesiologist has the responsibility of keeping the patient's airway open, sedating just enough, then being able to ease them out of that sedation alive and well. Things don't go well one day in this novel. A child dies in Marie Heaton's OR. All of her training and professionalism hasn't really prepared her for the bumpy road that lies ahead. We live moment by moment as Marie struggles through the nightmare.
This is a well written literary novel. Cassella pulls off the first person narrative and makes it believable. Makes you feel her character's heartache.
So why only 4 stars? The first two chapters could have been left out - way too much day in the life stuff. Ultimately it stalls the story, which then has a little trouble getting off the ground. The other issue - it became overly long and plodding, going nowhere for a short time in the middle.
Still, I would recommend this book. Ultimately it is a very good quality, well written story that you will want to see to the very end.