Book Review - The Doctor and the Diva by Adrienne McDonnell

The Doctor and the Diva: A Novel The Doctor and the Diva: A Novel by Adrienne McDonnell has all the elements that I love in a novel - romance, suspense, drama, tension and a historical backdrop for all of it!

From the Publisher:

In her book-club friendly debut, McDonnell weaves the intriguing tale of an early 20th-century opera singer torn between her career and motherhood. Erika von Kessler, a mezzo-soprano of some regard, and her husband, Peter Myrick, have been trying without success to conceive a child for all six years of their marriage. They seek out the expertise of Dr. Ravell, a Boston obstetrician renowned for his fertility successes. Ravell, mesmerized by Erika's beauty and talent, vows to do anything to help the couple realize their dream of children, even if it means deceiving them, which, of course, it does. Meanwhile, Erika isn't so sure about her desire for motherhood and secretly makes plans to leave her husband and pursue fame in Italy. McDonnell bases the story on her family history and expertly incorporates surprising facts about the history of fertility research into a twisting tale of miscommunication, love, and unrealized dreams.

My review:

As a debut novellist, Adrienne McDonnell hits this one out of the park, in my opinion.  The book's three protagonists are all well crafted characters who are true to the spirit of the character and of the times... The story lines themselves are modern and relevant today - infertility, women's rights and responsibilities, love, romance, ethics and social pressures.

McDonnell has a way of showing all sides of the story in a way that reveals them like pealing away layers of an onion... there are places where you laugh, where you want to cry and places where you just shake your head ...

On top of all of that, you are immersed in a turn of the last century world of emerging medical science that meets antiquated thought, human instinct and genuine passion to come together as a well crafted novel.

I highly recommend The Doctor and the Diva to anyone who is interested in women's history, the early 20th century or just wants a new classic for their reading pleasure.

You can also check out more about the author and the novel at her webpage:

This review was featured at the September 6th edition of the: