Wellington consultant surgeon Elizabeth Taylor has an enviable unblemished record, but when a small error in care leads to catastrophe, Liz and her surgical team come under huge scrutiny. The distraught family, the social media barrage, there is no end to the blaming and shaming coming Liz's way.
An impressive level of medical detail coupled with its exploration of the challenges of professional accountability and culpability delivers an intense and compelling reading experience.
This finely crafted story is enhanced by the parallel retelling of the Challenger space shuttle disaster and its reminder of the consequences of system failures.
Not enjoyed by the majority of our group as we found Elizabeth's behaviour irrational, but we understand that the pressures on medical staff are great, and feel that there should be safe ways for them to release their pressures and stress.
One person liked the book. Ten were a bit under-whelmed! We felt sorry for Richard, Liz's registrar. Did he do medicine only because his father was a senior surgeon in Dunedin
Not our favourite. Most felt it was too depressing.
A book that caused a divide amongst members, from a few who disliked it intensely to others who thought it opened a very important discussion of compassion, culpability and accountability.
Generally felt that the book was full of promise on an interesting subject, but it failed to deliver. Some enjoyed the reference to the Shuttle disaster. Was hoping for more.
Most readers did not like the main character of this book, however did understand why she was this way. Healthy discussion about women in healthcare in N.Z.
Most members did not like this book - didn't care for the writing, nor the main character. Did engender discussion about the pressures of the health system and the ramifications of small mistakes.
A mixed response to this book, but a lively discussion ensued. All agreed that the main character was not a likeable person, and her behaviour at times, bizarre. Most felt that a male, writing about a lesbian, did not achieve a convincing character. Some thought the Challenger comparisons were convincing, others thought they were inappropriate.
Group didn't really enjoy this book. Difficult to follow. The use of the Shuttle crash seemed to muddy the waters,
Being a Wellington group, we enjoyed the book's setting. Found it interesting to read a book where the main character is quite unlikeable.
An interesting book, both liked and disliked by members of the group. The issues dealt with (women in the workplace, tall poppy syndrome, doctors' accountability - specifically surgeons) interspersed with the Challenger break up made for an interesting, different novel.
There were some interesting comments regarding this book. It was not enjoyed generally but it was clever the way the story was aligned to the Challenger tragedy. The ex-nurses on our group related to the intensity of some surgeons and their sometimes irrational behaviour. We felt it did not flow as a story.