The state of Vermont. Non-traditional medicine. A tragic death. Moral and legal ambiguities. A deeply engrossing story. Great characterization. Sound familiar? Yes. This is familiar territory for Chris Bohjalian, author of the best-selling "Midwives". And again, he does a great job. I love the way he structures his books. The reader generally knows what is going to happen, but just doesn't know exactly how. And that is what the fascination is. That is what kept me reading, following the protagonist's thoughts and actions and totally getting into his skin. The story is told in the first person by Leland Fowler, an 35-year old attorney in the Vermont State prosecutor's office. Just two years before, his wife died in a tragic car accident, leaving him to raise his young daughter, now aged 4. He's grieved for his wife for a long time, and his life lacks much pleasure. When he develops a sore throat and cold that just doesn't go away...
Did not read Midwives. This was my first Chris Bohjalian book. I was looking forward to it because I had read good things about Midwives, I live in Vermont and I know some homeopathy. I found the protagonist very likable in the beginning, although subtly suffering from a not-so-well-hidden "poor me" complex. But that was still understandable after all the poor man had been through... Things deteriorated for me when he started salivated at every skirt, young or old, that twitched in front of him. The foot fetish thing was not anything I could relate to in a positive way either. And, to top things off, the plot crumbled altogether with unbelievable issues, even more unbelievable denouements of same issues, pilfered homeopathic remedies that can be purchased for a few dollars in any health food store, unrealistic reactions to "overdoses" of arsenicum (please!...), an unreachable, unlikable, underdescribed, overall unhashed-out character of a...
I thought the book was a decent read but fell short of the type of character and plot development exhibited in Midwives. Good research on the subject of homeopathy but the story line was pretty flat. Unfortunately, the ending was pretty weak. It could have been a very good book given the subject matter however, it did not appear as if the author took the time to delve into the characters. They were pretty much superficial.
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