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pearl's picks

Pearl's Picks for November 2008

Oxygen by Carol Cassella (2008)

The main character in Carol Cassella's very readable first novel, Oxygen, is, like Cassella herself, an anesthesiologist in Seattle. Dr. Marie Heaton finds her life gone badly off track when what should have been a pretty routine surgical procedure goes wrong, and eight-year-old Jolene Jansen dies on the operating table. Jolene's mother files a malpractice suit against Marie as well as the hospital, and guilt, grief, and fears about her future as a physician begin to take their toll on Marie. She turns for support and reassurance to her colleague, Dr.