Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Book Review: Forgotten

Another fascinating book from Catherine McKenzie! What would happen if everything in your life was taken away, if you had to start all over again?

Following her mother's funeral, Emma Tupper pursues her mother's dream of visiting Africa. Hardworking, stubborn Emma takes a month long sabbatical from the law firm that she had been dedicating 80 hour weeks in pursuit of a partnership to explore Africa. Only, what was supposed to be a month long sabbatical turns into a six month journey following an earthquake and illness that leaves her stranded in Africa with no way to communicate back home. 

When Emma finally returns to her apartment, she finds all of her things missing and Dominic, a photographer who has just broken up with his fiancee, moving in. Emma tries to call her friends and boyfriend, but can only leave messages. Dominic takes pity on Emma and allows her to stay with him. Slowly the two become friends as they try to piece together Emma's old life, finding that it is not as easy at one might have thought. 

I am a huge fan of Catherine McKenzie's writing and I loved Forgotten as much as I adored Spin and Arranged. Emma is a strong character who has to work her way through some unique, but tough situations upon her return. She is real, she gets frustrated, confused and sometimes upset, however she is never whiny or annoying. Emma's pursuit of finding herself in the rubble of what remains of her life is a great read!

Book Review: The Night Shift

Dr. Brian Goldman has been an emergency room practitioner for decades. That alone, makes him remarkable, however, on top of his dedication to medical emergencies, he also prefers the night shift. In The Night Shift Dr. Goldman shares stories of cases during his twenty years in the Emergency Room at Mount Sinai Hospital in downtown Toronto.

What I loved best about the book is Dr. Goldman's ability as an author to intersperse factoids about the stark realities of the medical field with humane stories while also balancing respect, empathy, humour and truth. As one who reads non fiction rarely, and if I do it is generally around education, I started the book with a little trepidation. I was surprised at how much I truly enjoyed this book.