Monday, July 16, 2012

The Doctor & The Diva - Book Club Review

Many thanks to Ruth Heaney for this guest post.

The city is Boston. Erika von Kessler is unable to conceive after six years of marriage. She is a talented mezzo-soprano whose life is changed without her consent. Peter Myrick, her husband, is a prosperous businessman whose enterprises require frequent travel. He has the means and determination to father a child with his wife by artificial insemination. Dr. Ravell is an almost thirty year-old obstetrician whose reputation is on the rise owing to his success with the newest medical techniques. The medical decisions he makes will forever change his life and the lives of Erika and Peter.

Here is the twist. The Doctor and The Diva is set in 1902, not 2012. In many respects, the character’s dilemmas in 1902 are like those faced by couples today who yearn to have a family but are unable to do so without medical assistance. How many tests are necessary or appropriate? How will a child affect the careers of the partners? How long do you let the biological clock tick, or do you resort to every available medical option? How does a couple balance a career and a family?

The Doctor and The Diva is a story of science colliding with human desires. The results may not be what a reader wants, but they are what happens when the heart and not the mind rules the day.

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