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Love triangle among three overachieving schoolmates.

Matthew, Ben and Amelia were best of friends during graduate school, until ambition and passion took hold and scattered them in different directions. Amelia and Matthew pair off romantically and set up house in Pennsylvania. Matthew opts to skip practicing medicine and instead chases the buck, accepting a job as junior executive at a huge drug company. Amelia, a philosophy major and journalist, becomes a harsh critic of Big Pharma, and she attacks Matthew at every turn for joining what she feels is an evil empire. As for Ben, he drifts into the background: The brilliant doctor throws himself into clinical research and finding cures for global epidemics. When the ethical chasm between Matthew and Amelia becomes too vast, the two end their relationship. Now it’s Ben’s turn to hook up with Amelia. Amelia hopes that Ben is a man capable of meeting her lofty ethical standards. The trio is thrown back together when a small boy named Cobain (he prefers Danny) wanders into Matthew’s apartment. Danny desperately needs help to get his drug-addicted mother cleaned up and his neglected little sister proper medical care. Matthew is far too obsessed with his career to assist Danny. But when Matthew sees an opportunity to hurt Amelia and salvage a brewing PR disaster at his company, he agrees to support Danny and his sister. But he’ll need some help from his old friends. As Matthew jets around the globe defending his company’s actions, the children’s plight brings the trio even closer. Tucker’s latest (Once Upon a Day, 2006, etc.) offers plenty of modern moral dilemmas but little in the way of remarkable innovations. The novel is strongest when taking on the gray area of bioethics: Matthew’s ability to rationalize his actions makes for the most engaging episodes. However, Tucker ultimately neglects these substantive issues, favoring a tearjerker ending and a sappy romance.

Not the prescription for what ails the modern reader.

Pub Date: April 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7434-9279-9
Page count: 324pp
Publisher: Atria
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2008


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