Sunday, March 8, 2020

The Antidote for Everything, by Kimmery Martin

Berkley Publishing Group978, ISBN 9781984802835, February 2020

Georgia Brown is a urologist at a clinic associated with a hospital in Charleston, South Carolina; her friend Jonah Tsukada is a family practice physician. Both the clinic and the hospital are owned by a fundamentalist megachurch, but until now they've been able to treat patients as they see appropriate.

But Jonah is an out gay man, and he welcomes gay and transgender patients. Georgia, as a urologist, treats some of the same patients. And hospital and clinic policy is about to change. While Georgia is away at a medical conference in Amsterdam, Jonah calls to tell her he's been ordered to drop all his transgender patients, or be fired.

Jonah and Georgia's lives are about to become very interesting.

But it's not just workplace drama and a threat to the integrity of how they practice medicine. While on the plane to Amsterdam, there's a small medical emergency, and Georgia meets Mark, a very successful, and also very hot and very likable, businessman.

Jonah is Georgia's best friend. Mark is the first guy in years who seems likely to be more than just a passing interest for her. And when Mark and Jonah meet, it quickly becomes clear that they, too, will be good friends.

Except that Jonah is being forced out at the hospital; he won't agree to drop his transgender patients, and as a gay man himself, isn't very welcome at the hospital or the clinic anyway. Georgia is an honest and honorable woman, but she's also determined to protect her friend and their patients. Mark is an honest and honorable man, and was badly burned in childhood by the lies around his mother's health and her, to him, sudden death. People lying is a real trigger for him.

And Georgia decides on a very risky path to saving Jonah's job.

It's fascinating, intense, and challenging for Georgia, Jonah, and Mark.

The issues here are real and critical. It's completely legal in more than 30 states to discriminate against LGBTQ people, not only in employment, but even, yes, in providing medical care. What the hospital and clinic are doing in this book is completely legal not just in South Carolina, but in over thirty other states.

And Kimmery Martin makes you feel every single bit of how cruel and destructive this is.

Highly recommended.

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

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