Saturday, 10 March 2018

The Queen of Hearts


Author: Kimmery Martin
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Berkley
First Published: February 13, 2018
First Line: "Almost a hundred years before I was born, a man named Samuel Langhorne Clemens -- better known to us as Mark Twain -- said this about the human heart: You can't reason with your heart; it has its own laws, and thumps about things which the intellect scorns."

Book Description from GoodReadsA debut novel set against a background of hospital rounds and life-or-death decisions that pulses with humor and empathy and explores the heart's capacity for forgiveness...

Zadie Anson and Emma Colley have been best friends since their early twenties, when they first began navigating serious romantic relationships amid the intensity of medical school. Now they're happily married wives and mothers with successful careers--Zadie as a pediatric cardiologist and Emma as a trauma surgeon. Their lives in Charlotte, North Carolina are chaotic but fulfilling, until the return of a former colleague unearths a secret one of them has been harboring for years.

As chief resident, Nick Xenokostas was the center of Zadie's life--both professionally and personally--throughout a tragic chain of events in her third year of medical school that she has long since put behind her. Nick's unexpected reappearance during a time of new professional crisis shocks both women into a deeper look at the difficult choices they made at the beginning of their careers. As it becomes evident that Emma must have known more than she revealed about circumstances that nearly derailed both their lives, Zadie starts to question everything she thought she knew about her closest friend.


My Rating: 3 stars

My Review: Lately I've been binge watching Grey's Anatomy on Netflix so when I heard that Queen of Hearts was a medical drama with main characters which aren't unlike Meredith and her group of medical misfits, I knew I wanted to read this book.

The story is set in North Carolina and focuses on the long friendship of Zadie and Emma - their home lives, work lives and their close bond. These BFFs are joined by friendship as well as a big secret, a handsome doctor and medical mayhem. 

While the book is a medical drama filled with secrets and lies, little bouts of humour are interspersed to lighten things up. I particularly loved Zadie's young daughter who is filled with quirk, sass and a great vocabulary. Martin's writing is impressive for a debut and her experience as an emergency room doctor comes into play as traumas are vividly described. I loved this part and, with my extensive "Grey's training", I didn't find it hard to understand what was happening.

The story is told in the alternating voices of Zadie and Emma, past and present, but this switching back and forth wasn't as smooth as I had hoped. Their 'voices' were so similar that I found it difficult to remember who was speaking and would have to backtrack to check. And, if I'm being honest, I didn't find the big secret all that big. 

This is a medical drama with a side of secrets. The cover is stunning and it's a fun read but with some stronger characterization (and a less obvious twist) I would have given it a higher rating.

I liked it. I just didn't love it like Izzy loved Denny, or Christina loves cardiothoracic surgery. I think this book has its niche and fans of medical dramas with a mild soap opera feel should enjoy this book. 

Disclaimer: This ARC was generously provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

4 comments:

Janine K said...

I’ve been binge watching ER, now on season 15 the last one. I love medical dramas - will do Greys again one day as I’ve missed many seasons of that.

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Janine -- I loved watching ER when it was originally on and have re-watched seasons 1-5 (I borrow them from the library). I think I only got to about season 5 or 6 of Grey's Anatomy so I'm binge watching it on Netflix and I'm about half way through season 4. I think I'm liking it more the second time around. :)

Janine K said...

I checked our Netflix and we don’t have Grays on ours ☹️ I bought all of ER on DVD and I think it would stand up just fine on TV today I felt it was on. I don’t know about you, bbu our channels are filled with reality TV no good dramas left any more - I do watch The Good Doctor and have watched the first couple of eps of The Resident - not sure about that yet.

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

That's too bad about Grey's. Check your local library for seasons! As for TV dramas, I like The Good Fight (spin off of The Good Wife) but Suits is my favourite. Gabriel Macht ... le sigh.

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