“My best friend is a reporter. She keeps telling me this is nothing, that I need to prepare myself for the correspondents who are packing their bags for the trial. They’ll come to Virginia, she says, because the case has it all. Malpractice. Adultery. Class. Race. And murder.”
By Erika Raskin
At the start of the novel we know that Marti Trailor is in trouble. Something has happened that her career, her family and her freedom is in jeopardy and through the pages we learn about how a caring social worker ended up in such a fraught situation.
Marti has been the good wife who has put her career on hold to help raise her children and support her husband’s career as he becomes a successful obstetrician. Elliott is always on call and/or too busy but she knows that one day, things will change and it will all have been worthwhile but when he cancels yet again on a party they were supposed to attend, Marti’s vulnerability starts to shine through. Her good friend Colby is there to help her but ultimately it is a timely meeting that will make a difference in her life.
While hoping and waiting that Elliot shows up she strikes up a conversation with the head of a program for new moms, which ends up being a great opportunity for Marti, after all didn’t she do her thesis on Obstetrics and Infant Mortality rates. Now she could have the chance to help underprivileged women get the right help to raise their babies.
Marti’s re-entrance in the workforce isn’t easy as her husband doesn’t seem as supportive and then there are the issues of how to navigate the different classes the hospital caters to, after all there is a VIP wing but only for those with money and shouldn’t all mothers have the same care? But Marti takes it all in stride and thinks she’s making a difference and she is until one day, one of her clients gives birth and has to make a heartbreaking decision. Did her client receive the right care and did she have any choice?
I was totally caught up in this medical drama because I think the story raises some very interesting points about the differences in our access to healthcare. We also know how doctors and nurses are continually asked to work extra hours to cover shifts but what are the consequences to that and ultimately it is the patient who will have to suffer. If your book group is looking for a great novel to discuss, this might be the one!
Source: Advance review copy