The following review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews and author interviews by clicking on the Books category link in the right side bar.
The Queen Of Hearts by Kimmery Martin delves into relationships within the medical profession. This debut novel is set against a background of hospital rounds with life-or-death decisions. It is a story of betrayal and forgiveness as the two best friends, Emma Colley and Zadie Anson navigate their friendship through stormy waters.
Martin describes Zadie as “Competent, caring, intelligent, warm, and trustworthy. She is also goofy, funny, and fun-loving. People are asking me if she is patterned after myself, but I have to say she is much more charismatic. I think she is not by nature a grudge holder.” For her Emma is the complete opposite, “In many ways, she is unapproachable. She stews over what has happened to her and fixates on things. Although physically beautiful she is socially awkward, cerebral. I like and empathize with her.”
The plot alternates between 1999 and the present day where they now live in North Carolina, raising a family, and have a successful medical practice. Everything turns topsy-turvy when Nick Xenokostas decides to join Emma’s surgery group. The two friends must face the secrets of their past, including how Nick broke Zadie’s heart. 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.
A powerful book quote, “If a child dies it’s not because she’s needed in heaven, or because there was some cosmic plan for her to die so another child could be born”? Martin explains, “This was stated by Emma who wants everything to make sense. She wants the world to function according to the laws of logic, less likely to have her personality ruled by emotion. She never rationalizes that things happen for the greater good. As I started writing, I thought, ‘try it; what is the worst that could go wrong.’ But in medicine the worst that can go wrong is that you can kill someone. It is a cloud hanging over doctors’ heads.”
The story has intrigue, drama, and turmoil that combine for a good story.