THE COMMITTEE WILL KILL YOU NOW

A thought-provoking work about young doctors, modern medicine, and ethical quagmires.

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In Lycette’s novel, a hospital intern struggles with sleep deprivation, a shocking mistake, and a dark chapter in medical history.

It’s 1992, and 28-year-old Noah Meier is just keeping his head above water in his first year at a Seattle hospital. For a medical intern, it’s a year of 36-hour shifts, little sleep, and no life outside of work. His father was a surgeon, and although Noah’s a gifted writer, he gave up his dream of getting a master of fine arts degree to go to medical school, instead. At the hospital, one of his colleagues commits suicide, but Noah has no time to grieve and is immediately back at work. He makes a careless mistake (“What should he do? What the hell should he do? What had he done?”) that results in one of his patients requiring emergency surgery. As the fallout from the error upends Noah’s life, he reads an old journal that his father kept, which addresses the birth of dialysis in the 1960s. Only a handful of patients were allowed to receive the treatment at the time, and they were chosen by committee. As surprising connections between the past and the present come to light, Noah must make a major decision about his future. Lycette’s novel successfully immerses the reader in the active hospital environment and the lives of its young doctors. Along the way, the author clearly illustrates the industry’s successes and innovations, and provides some necessary critiques as well. Lycette, a doctor herself, makes the wise decision to center the narrative around only two patients’ stories, which focuses the narrative and keeps it grounded when it could have easily become frenzied. The author also effectively portrays supporting characters and addresses widespread sexism in the medical field, especially among surgeons. Overall, Noah’s story is skillfully written, incisive, and unafraid to confront ethical issues head-on.

A thought-provoking work about young doctors, modern medicine, and ethical quagmires.

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2023

ISBN: 9781685133122

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Black Rose Writing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2023

THE WOMEN

A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.

A young woman’s experience as a nurse in Vietnam casts a deep shadow over her life.

When we learn that the farewell party in the opening scene is for Frances “Frankie” McGrath’s older brother—“a golden boy, a wild child who could make the hardest heart soften”—who is leaving to serve in Vietnam in 1966, we feel pretty certain that poor Finley McGrath is marked for death. Still, it’s a surprise when the fateful doorbell rings less than 20 pages later. His death inspires his sister to enlist as an Army nurse, and this turn of events is just the beginning of a roller coaster of a plot that’s impressive and engrossing if at times a bit formulaic. Hannah renders the experiences of the young women who served in Vietnam in all-encompassing detail. The first half of the book, set in gore-drenched hospital wards, mildewed dorm rooms, and boozy officers’ clubs, is an exciting read, tracking the transformation of virginal, uptight Frankie into a crack surgical nurse and woman of the world. Her tensely platonic romance with a married surgeon ends when his broken, unbreathing body is airlifted out by helicopter; she throws her pent-up passion into a wild affair with a soldier who happens to be her dead brother’s best friend. In the second part of the book, after the war, Frankie seems to experience every possible bad break. A drawback of the story is that none of the secondary characters in her life are fully three-dimensional: Her dismissive, chauvinistic father and tight-lipped, pill-popping mother, her fellow nurses, and her various love interests are more plot devices than people. You’ll wish you could have gone to Vegas and placed a bet on the ending—while it’s against all the odds, you’ll see it coming from a mile away.

A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781250178633

Page Count: 480

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023

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IT STARTS WITH US

Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

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The sequel to It Ends With Us (2016) shows the aftermath of domestic violence through the eyes of a single mother.

Lily Bloom is still running a flower shop; her abusive ex-husband, Ryle Kincaid, is still a surgeon. But now they’re co-parenting a daughter, Emerson, who's almost a year old. Lily won’t send Emerson to her father’s house overnight until she’s old enough to talk—“So she can tell me if something happens”—but she doesn’t want to fight for full custody lest it become an expensive legal drama or, worse, a physical fight. When Lily runs into Atlas Corrigan, a childhood friend who also came from an abusive family, she hopes their friendship can blossom into love. (For new readers, their history unfolds in heartfelt diary entries that Lily addresses to Finding Nemo star Ellen DeGeneres as she considers how Atlas was a calming presence during her turbulent childhood.) Atlas, who is single and running a restaurant, feels the same way. But even though she’s divorced, Lily isn’t exactly free. Behind Ryle’s veneer of civility are his jealousy and resentment. Lily has to plan her dates carefully to avoid a confrontation. Meanwhile, Atlas’ mother returns with shocking news. In between, Lily and Atlas steal away for romantic moments that are even sweeter for their authenticity as Lily struggles with child care, breastfeeding, and running a business while trying to find time for herself.

Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-668-00122-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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