Wednesday, January 6, 2016

GEMINI by Carol Cassella

This novel revolves around the lives of two women in the state of Washington.  One, Charlotte, is a Seattle physician with a Jane Doe hit-and-run patient on life support.  The other woman is Raney, an aspiring artist whom we meet as a 12-year-old girl who lives in a rural town with her grandfather.  She falls in love with Bo, whose social class Raney knows she can never be a part of.  Both stories have their merits, and we know that Charlotte’s and Raney’s lives will collide at some point.  Meanwhile, Charlotte develops an affinity for her Jane Doe, above and beyond the care and concern that she feels for all of her patients.  She hopes that Jane’s body will heal itself enough for her to breathe on her own, but Jane has almost certainly suffered significant brain damage and will probably never be able to resume any sort of normal life.  Of course, Jane’s situation begs the question:  What sort of life could she have had prior to the accident, given that no one has come forward to identify her?  Even after we learn who Jane is, other mysteries surface about her injuries and her family.  I liked the way in which the author weaves together the lives of these two women, each grappling with her own set of challenges.  Raney struggles to keep her head above water financially, while Charlotte begins to want to start a family of her own, perhaps with her science-writer boyfriend, Eric.  Charlotte’s bigger quandary, though, is what to do about Jane.  As Jane’s physician, how much right does she have to investigate the circumstances that put Jane in such an unfortunate position?  And the significance of the title remains a mystery until the very end.

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