SWIMMING WITH JONAH by Audrey Schulman


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A tropical version of The Paper Chase, describing a young woman’s first year at an Indonesian medical school, by the author of The Cage (1994). Jane Guy’s father is a man of substance. A Vietnam vet who learned firsthand what happens to the human body under extreme stress, he completed medical school after returning to the States and specialized in anesthesiology, eventually patenting several devices whose royalties made him rich. —Jane had always assumed she was going into medicine, that she would try to be like her Dad——but there are problems. To begin with, her grades aren—t up to standard. Plus, she was caught cheating at college and expelled. As a result, none of the medical schools she applies to will accept her—except for Queen’s Medical School, halfway across the globe on an Indonesian island. Queen’s is one of those offshore places that specializes in picking up US med- school rejects and getting them into the AMA by the side door. Jane is no Vietnam War hero, but she’s brave (and driven) enough to put up with almost anything for her degree, so it’s off to Indonesia. Her arrival isn—t exactly propitious’she trips on the tarmac and dislocates her shoulder—and the school isn—t quite what she expected, either: Teachers have nicknames like —Burn-out,— half the buildings are Quonset huts, and the student lounge is a bar on the beach. Meanwhile, Jane’s roommate Marlene was also expelled from college (for stealing the Dean’s car), and one of her classmates keeps a pet shark. But, in the best Foreign Legion style, all pull together and look out for one another—until tragedy strikes when Jane’s best friend turns despondent over his inability to make the grade. By story’s end, though, Jane has learned far more about herself than about anatomy, making the year more than worth her efforts. Formulaic, but written brightly, and charmingly sincere.

Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 1999
ISBN: 0-380-97686-2
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1998


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