Saturday, April 12, 2014

Gemini: A Novel

Title:  Gemini:  A Novel
Author:  Carol Cassella
Publication Information:  Simon & Schuster. 2014. 352 pages.
ISBN:  1451627939 / 978-1451627930

Book Source:  I received this book through the GoodReads First Reads program free of cost in exchange for an honest review.

Favorite Quote:  "Statistics gave no peace when you hoped to replace a percentage with a name. A Face. A single individual who might or might not be the one out of one thousand."

Gemini is a story in the past and the present.

In the present is the story of Charlotte Reese and her unidentified "Jane Doe" patient. In her professional life, Charlotte Reese is a physician near Seattle dealing with patients in the intensive care unit. In her personal life, she is working on her relationship with her long time boyfriend Eric. They are committed to each other; yet, there are things they don't discuss and distances between them.

"Jane Doe" is found by a roadside, badly injured. No one knows who she is. No one steps forward to claim her. Her survival is at stake; decisions need to be made.

In the past is the story of Raney Remington, a young girl growing up in her grandfather's house in the Pacific Northwest. It is the story of Bo, who comes in and out of Raney's life and who leaves her forever changed. It is the story of the responsibility Raney feels towards her grandfather and the choices that result from that responsibility.

The title of the book "Gemini" refers to the the constellation which tells the mythological story of twin brothers Castor and Pollux. These two were fraternal twins who were born to the same mother but having two different fathers. In mythology, Castor's father is a human while Pollux is the son of the Zeus. Upon Castor's death, Pollux asks to share with him his own immortality. The wish is granted; both then are immortalized as stars in the sky.

How the stories of Charlotte, Jane Doe, Raney and the myth meet is the crux of this book. This story completely surprised me. It ends up following a direction and with a resolution that I did not expect based on the book description or when I started reading the book.

The plot and the way the story comes together is dramatic. The characters and the story are a bit contrived at times. Yet, the book keeps me reading because I want to see where it ends up. I found the medical issues interesting and the ethical ones even more so. The significance of the title and the connections between the characters slowly become clearer as the book moves on. The emergence in the story makes for a good read.

Please share your thoughts and leave a comment. I would love to "talk" to you.

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