Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A Shining Debut: The Queen of Hearts (Review)

A debut novel set against a background of hospital rounds and life-or-death decisions that pulses with humor and empathy and explores the heart's capacity for forgiveness...

Zadie Anson and Emma Colley have been best friends since their early twenties, when they first began navigating serious romantic relationships amid the intensity of medical school. Now they're happily married wives and mothers with successful careers--Zadie as a pediatric cardiologist and Emma as a trauma surgeon. Their lives in Charlotte, North Carolina are chaotic but fulfilling, until the return of a former colleague unearths a secret one of them has been harboring for years.

As chief resident, Nick Xenokostas was the center of Zadie's life--both professionally and personally--throughout a tragic chain of events in her third year of medical school that she has long since put behind her. Nick's unexpected reappearance during a time of new professional crisis shocks both women into a deeper look at the difficult choices they made at the beginning of their careers. As it becomes evident that Emma must have known more than she revealed about circumstances that nearly derailed both their lives, Zadie starts to question everything she thought she knew about her closest friend.
The Queen of Hearts
Kimmery Martin
Pub Date: 2/13/18
Genre: Women's Fiction
Rating: 4/5
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The Queen of Hearts is one intense debut from Kimmery Martin! Readers will be instantly pulled into Zadie and Emma's fierce friendship and their turbulent time as medical students in the ER.

Switching between past and present in alternating voices, The Queen of Hearts dives into Zadie and Emma's personal and professional lives as it leads them to the moment Dr. X returns. Zadie is a married mother of four and a pediatric cardiologist. Emma is a married mother of one and a trauma surgeon. They have been best friends forever, but there are secrets regarding a traumatic experience in their third year of med school that could threaten their friendship. Dr. X's return brings those memories and guilt surging forward. When all is exposed, both Zadie and Emma learn what's really at stake.

This is the kind of story where you know what's coming, but still, it hurts to read it. You may not know how everything is going to go down, or what exactly the secret is, but the story provides a building block of clues to soften the blow that inevitably comes. As imperfect humans, sometimes we want what we shouldn't and desire what others have because of our own insecurities. Kimmery Martin explores such notions and more in this heartbreaking medical drama. It's an insightful and engaging read that once I started reading I had to race to finish! It pulled me in with the promise of an authentic inside look at medical students in hospital rounds and kept me invested in the lives of wholly human characters.

The Queen of Hearts is drama filled and really makes you feel for the characters. This is a shining debut you can't miss!
*ARC received via First to Read*


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