by Chris Bohjalian
It's always nice to read a book about a town and state you're familiar with. My sister went to St. Michael's College near Burlington, VT, so I've been up to Burlington a few times. As the story went along, I would try to match Leland's views of the city with the ones in my memory, and it helped to place my imagination at the scene.
As with many of Chris's books, I enjoyed this one. He's much like Jodi Picoult in that he takes subjects that are controversial or not very well known and places people in the middle of that type of situation. Who really knows a lot about homeopathy, other than homeopaths? It's very educational to read about the Law of Similars, and what would drive a man allergic to cashews to think that eating one would be a good idea.
From the first page to the last, I was enthralled by the story. Leland is a very flawed, very real character; the loving father of Abby, but still a man who has his own fears and doubts and who makes mistakes. The story is mostly from his point of view, but it includes his thoughts on other characters as well, such as Jennifer's skepticism of the homeopathic remedies her husband takes, and Carissa's concerns about how her patient interprets her words. The skipping around at first may seem random, but it fits with the story like pieces of a puzzle.
This is a great book with which to curl up on the couch with a cat on your lap and a cup of coffee in your free hand. It pulls you in from the very start and you don't want to let go until you turn the last page.