Just terrific---makes you "start" thinking. I was listening to the audio version and really need to listen to it all again to make more of it stick in my head! Using actual patients to help emphasize the decisions one faces is what it is all about ---the subtitle "How to decide what's right for you" makes perfect sense. Medicine is almost never black and white no matter how much we might all wish for easy answers to usually complex problems.
I just wish I had read the Author Notes at the back before starting this book---what an incredible amount of research Rideout had to do to develop such a realistic impression of the emotions and physical nature of the early attempts to climb Mount Everest. Almost exhausting to read in many ways---the cold comes right through the pages! Alternating between Ruth and George's experiences as the climb progressed up the mountain gave helpful breaks in this very exhausting tale. The fact that this really was a factually based historical event, though a fictional account, made it all the more fascinating.
The audio version of this historical fiction was fascinating to listen to---I found myself checking out some of the history on the web to find out what really happened during that time. It really was quite a story and I was interested in how much Fergus went into the details of what it must have been like to actually live a life on the prairie with the indians from a woman's point of view. Have we really gained more than we lost in this mistaken effort to "civilize the savages?" It seems that they were always far more civilized than we were.
I slowed right down reading this---I just did not want it to end so I am delighted that this is part of a series about the Olive Farm. Drinkwater is an amazing writer and who knew when I loved watching All Creatures Great and Small so many years ago. The book is just plain delightful because Drinkwater is so completely forthcoming about everything that is happening and in extraordinary detail. Truly a wonderful true story to read about and I am SO happy there is MORE!
I was so happy to discover a brief description of each of the story authors at the back of the book. I knew so many of them from reading their books but of course in a list of 31 there were many I did not know. What a fascinating collection of stories. I'm thinking they might have been a little stunned, at first, with the request, as in "WHAT gift can I possibly think of?" It was so interesting to see the different ways in which the authors presented their mothers, showing the incredible variation in Mother/Daughter relationships.
As predicted, you DO get pulled right into this story and before you know it....eeekkkk!!! I'm not sure I could pick out the exact moment when I began to wonder---hard to say anything beyond that without giving something away about the book. I would LOVE to have a discussion with other readers about the ending. Really---quite a book---YES, as some others have written--unsettling to say the least!!!! But even with that said, it was written with an almost frightening believability.
This will definitely make me think twice--or more--in any hotel, or motel! No matter what the setting is, serving "the public" is something everyone needs to experience in order to improve one's own actions. Tomsky is specific and terrific in presenting what goes on sort of behind-the-scenes in hotels---to say nothing of retail and restaurant establishments, etc.---each of which would have their own individual character episodes and specifics. Human beings come in all shapes and sizes and with all different opinions and Tomsky's book was a delight to read---he knows of what he writes!!!!
I do not usually reach for historical fiction but this was more than interesting in terms of the medical information at that time along with all of the political/war details. Using Mary's life against this backdrop made for a fascinating story.