Carol Wiley Cassella burst onto the literary scene with her debut novel Oxygen, which became a national best seller and won reams of critical praise. In this engaging follow-up, a Seattle physician has to reevaluate life and career when her husband’s business crashes. Through this tale of love and medical wonder, Cassella uses her 25 years of experience in the medical industry to inform a work of emotional distinction and penetrating insight.
Listen to Oxygen.
©2010 Carol Wiley Cassella (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC
"Claire Boehning faces a bleak future when her privileged life ends abruptly in Cassella's second novel (after Oxygen). Addison, her biochemist husband, created a lucrative drug that secured the family's fortunes, but when tests on a new drug go awry and Addison's backing disappears, he loses everything. After the couple is forced to move from Seattle with daughter Jory, 14, to live in a rural, ramshackle house originally bought as a fixer-upper project when money was not an issue, Addison travels in search of new investors. Claire, meanwhile, searches for a position as a doctor, a profession she left after Jory's birth…. Cassella (a real-life doctor) takes a hard look at a faulty health-care system to illustrate the power of money and class in this timely and multifaceted novel." (Publishers Weekly)
I listened to the entire book because of other enthusiastic reviews. In addition, the medical details were interesting and had authenticity because the author was a medical doctor herself. One aspect that worked well was the description of third world medicine in the Land of Wealth. But generally, the characters were heavy on detail but this didn't result in them having depth nor were they engaging or interesting.
Despite interesting and well crafted passages which offered insights into family dynamics, the book was pervaded by gloom and helplessness -- victims. This was underlined by the reader who labored her way through the book, sounding on the edge of despair, yet revealed a capacity for positive voices when it came to the dialogue.
Anyway, I got through the book. I rather suspect the author wanted it to be ultimately inspiring through demonstrating the adaptability of humans and the social ignorance of her own country, but I don't feel that she succeeded.
This book made me want to stay in the car and keep listening even after arriving home! Characters are fleshed-out and the heroine is admirable despite events that threaten her idealistic yet somehow practical approach to motherhood, medicine, and her marriage. She keeps doing the right thing, most of the time. Narration is excellent.
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