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Don't Go by Lisa Scottoline
St. Martin's Press
April 9, 2013; 384 Pages
From the Publisher:
Bestselling author Lisa Scottoline has thrilled millions with her emotionally-charged novels that feature strong women exploring the boundaries of family, justice, and love. In Don’t Go, she breaks new ground and delivers the story of a soldier who discovers what it means to be a man, a father, and ultimately, a hero.When Dr. Mike Scanlon is called to serve as an army doctor in Afghanistan, he’s acutely aware of the dangers he’ll face and the hardships it will cause his wife Chloe and newborn baby. And deep inside, he doesn’t think of himself as a warrior, but a healer.
However, in an ironic turn of events, as Mike operates on a wounded soldier in a war-torn country, Chloe dies at home in the suburbs, in an apparent household accident. Devastated, he returns home to bury her, only to discover that the life he left behind has fallen apart. His medical practice is in jeopardy, and he is a complete stranger to the only family he has left - his precious baby girl. Worse, he learns a shocking secret that sends him into a downward spiral.
Ultimately, Mike realizes that the most important battle of his life faces him on the home front and he’ll have to put it all on the line to save what’s dearest to him – his family. Gripping, thrilling, and profoundly emotional, Don’t Go is Lisa Scottoline at her finest.
Here's What I Think:
Don't Go should be called Can't Stop. Can't stop reading that is! I read this book in just a few days, and I read Part II in one sitting. I actually didn't move from my dining room table. My husband gave up trying to talk to me because I just waved my hand at him in a sort of flailing motion to indicate I didn't want to be disturbed. Kindly understanding (as this has happened before!) he kept my tea warm and the cookie jar full.
I should begin by telling you that I am a huge fan of Lisa Scottoline's non-fiction humor. I find these books laugh out loud funny. But for some reason, I've only read a few of her non-fiction works. Dirty Blonde was the first and more recently Come Home. I know that I enjoyed both of them so I'm not sure why I haven't read more of her. A case of too many books and too little time I think. So when I received the early reader edition in the mail from St. Martin's I was excited to have a chance to get to know her writing better. I wasn't sure what to expect mainly because I tend to avoid books about soldiers/war/Afghanistan.
This story grabbed me from the very first chapter. I started reading while having lunch and was honestly disappointed when I had to stop because it was time to go to work! So while Mike, the main character, is a doctor on active duty in Afghanistan, this is not (just) a story about war. This is a story about family, loss, love, dedication, conviction, addiction, betrayal, redemption and so much more. It's a bit of a: thriller, mystery, legal drama, war story and romance. It's real and human. The characters are so complete and full. These are people that I know, that you know. People that live in our neighborhood.
Through Lisa's writing I felt their emotions. Their pain, confusion, anger, frustration, fear and relief. Some books will develop the main character who carries everyone else. That's not the case here. All of the people Mike encounters are fully developed. I could easily visualize each of them, and see their behavior. I tried to anticipate what was going to happen next. Who was going to do what and how people would respond. But unexpected things kept happening which surprised me just as much as how the characters were reacting to the different situations! Not knowing kept the pages turning!
I often find in fiction (that is based in reality) the things that happen are just absurd. That's not the case here. In Don't Go the twists and turns are real. They may be things that most of us don't think about every day, but they are certainly things that could occur. I'm sure most of you have experienced something that happened out of the blue that changed your life forever. I know I have.
In addition to the in-depth character development and the intricate, suspenseful story telling, I really liked this book because of the accurate and factual descriptions of the details that create the story.
For example: the medical procedures; the alcohol and prescription drug addiction, and the legal proceedings are written in a way that respects the readers intelligence. This is just a small sample that demonstrates the authors willingness to study and research things (like what life is like for a combat doctor) that provide the rich and vivid images that immerse you in the heart and soul of the story and keep you fully entranced until the last page.
In my opinion it is a terrific effort that will appeal to a wide audience. There's so much that I'd love to tell you about, but I don't want to give anything away! I want you to have the chance to read it, and discover all it has to offer on your own. That's why I'm giving away my advance reader copy! The book goes on sale April 9 and I know that our library already has it on per-order. If your interested in getting your hands on a copy sooner rather than later all you have to do is enter the raffle. It's free and easy and open to everyone in the US. All you need is a valid email address and/or a Facebook account to login to the widget below.
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In this video Lisa tours a local book store and talks about what makes a good novel.
I love Lisa's sense of humor! Listen to this audio clip and see if she makes you laugh too.
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