The Doctor and The Diva by Adrienne McDonnell is one woman’s struggle to fit into the confines of her position and society vs her compulsion to be recognized for her gift. As I am drawn to novels that take place in other times and spaces, this was plush with both. It starts in Boston in 1903 and then moves to the Caribbean, South America and then to Florence where it ends in 1914.
This is a snapshot in the lives three characters. The first is Erika von Kessler a woman, wife and also possessing a beautiful operatic voice. Her husband Peter von Kessler is a wealthy businessman with a great desire to produce an offspring. The third member of this triangle is Dr. Ravell who specializes in obstetrics and has had great success in impregnating women with infertility issues.
This triangle of characters meets under the circumstances that Mr. and Mrs. Peter von Kessler are having trouble conceiving a baby. From this point on their lives become intertwined with a strength of connection that cannot be broken even when the characters live on separate continents sometimes separated by many years absence.
McDonnell does a beautiful job filling in the destinations and time gaps with stories that stand on their own and yet never loose site of each other. She takes share care with the surroundings and the details and evokes emotion within these pages that is sometimes overwhelming.
While the heart of the matter in the novel is not original on its face, the themes within resonate today. I was further intrigued to learn the novel was inspired by the author’s family history. Be sure to read both the A Further Historical Note and Acknowledgements sections at the back of they book, they should not be missed.
Brava Adrienne McDonnell Brava you have a beautiful voice that should be heard. Congratulations on the selection by the American Booksellers Association as an Indie Next Notable Book.
I am so excited to be able to share a copy of THE DOCTOR AND THE DIVA with one visitor. To enter for a chance to win a copy of this book, courtesy of Penguin Books, share a favorite historical fiction novel in your comment.
This giveaway is open to US and Canada and will be drawn randomly. Contest ends at midnight Sunday, January 22nd CST.