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Healer Bets On...


September 2010

Carol Cassella, author of the brilliant debut novel OXYGEN, returns with HEALER. Those who already have fallen in love with her work will appreciate this stellar sophomore effort, while those who have not yet discovered her will want to pick up this one. Cassella, who is an anesthesiologist living in the Seattle area, again sets her book in Washington and takes readers inside the medical profession. This time she plunges us into the world of new drug testing --- and what a fascinating world that is with huge stakes on all sides.

Claire Boehning has “the perfect life” as her days are consumed with finding the right things for the house, shepherding her daughter Jory from event to event, and showing up at a whirl of social events to support her husband Addison’s biotech career. But when testing for a promising cancer drug falls apart, which her husband backed with all their capital, Claire’s world is abruptly changed.

The family is uprooted from their comfortable digs into the fixer-upper second home that they bought, where they will live as Addison tries to gather funding to start again. They face an economic downturn that shatters their world and pushes their familiar bonds to the breaking point. Claire, who never completed the board certification for her medical training, now finds herself working in a clinic that is short on dollars and long on lines of migrant worker patients. Jory is far from her friends and is acting out to show her displeasure with their new circumstances. And Addison travels to try to regain his position and raise new funding, trying to appear successful while his world is crumbling around him.

Cassella portrays an honest look at marriage and family when all bets are off and the familiar tethers are not there for support. And she does it brilliantly. At the same time, she’s developed a beautifully crafted suspenseful story where she does not burden her prose with wearisome medical facts, but rather weaves them seamlessly into the story. Thus it’s a truly satisfying read on many levels.

by Carol Cassella

  • Publication Date: September 7, 2010
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • ISBN-10: 1416556125
  • ISBN-13: 9781416556121