Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Queen of Hearts, by Kimmery Martin

Berkley Publishing Group, ISBN 9780399585959, February 2018

Zadie and Emma met at a camp for high school students interested in becoming doctors. They stayed friends, and attended medical school together. A dozen years after their explosive third year of medical school, they're still friends, and both in Charlotte, North Carolina. Zadie is a pediatric cardiologist, Emma is a trauma surgeon, and they are both happily married, and mothers of young children.

Then Dr. Nick Xenokostas, chief resident when they were med students, reappears in their lives.

Nick was at the heart of the events that nearly derailed their medical education. They've put that behind them, in part because of their strong friendship.

Emma has a secret about those years that she's never told Zadie. With Nick now back in their lives, that secret is going to come out.

These are two women with a strong friendship, strong careers, and strong marriages to men who love them for who they are. Their friendship is going to be challenged and strained to the breaking point, while Emma's medical career is also put at risk.

There are no cardboard characters here.  Zadie, Emma, their husbands, their patients, and their colleagues are all flawed, complicated characters. The balances differ; some are harder to like than others, but they're all, in the end, worth caring about, for better and for worse.

It's a very satisfying story.

Recommended.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, and am reviewing it voluntarily.