It’s a gripping fictional narrative that will spark conversations about the very real moral dilemmas we face in this age of medical miracles.
The story begins with an unidentified woman being hit by a car and abandoned along a rural highway in western Washington. She is life-flighted to a Seattle trauma center, where she’s admitted to the intensive care unit overseen by Dr. Charlotte Reese, who battles to keep her “Jane Doe” patient alive while a police investigation tries to discover who is responsible for this hit and run—a charge that could turn into murder if this gravely injured woman dies.
Charlotte also senses a more covert battle brewing with the hospital’s legal department, when they assign a professional guardian to stand in lieu of Jane’s unknown family and make critical decisions about her care. In frustration, Charlotte and her boyfriend Eric, a science journalist, begin their own efforts to find Jane’s family, veering across the professional boundary between physician and patient. As their lives become more entangled, the truths Charlotte learns will radically alter her own life more profoundly than they alter her patient’s.
Carol Cassella will be coming to Jolly Good Fellows for brunch on March 11 at 10 a.m. The cost is $35 and includes a copy of the hardcover book. Gemini ($25.99, from Simon & Schuster) is available at Lake Forest Book Store, 847-234-4420.
—Ann Marie Scheidler