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Oxygen: A Novel

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Oxygen: A Novel

By Carol Cassella

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Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Published In: United States, 01 June 2009
OXYGEN opens with Marie Heaton, an anaesthesiologist at the height of her medical career, facing a nightmarish operating room disaster that ends a child's life and launches a tangled malpractice suit. Marie's best friend, colleague and former lover, Joe Hillary, becomes her closest confidante as she twists through depositions, accusations and a remorseful preoccupation with the mother of the dead child. A quieter crisis is simultaneously unfolding within Marie's family. Her aging father is losing his sight and approaching an awkward dependency on Marie and her sister, Lori. But Lori has taken a more traditional path than Marie, and is busy raising a family. Although she has been estranged from him for decades, the ultimate responsibility for their father's care is falling on Marie. As her carefully structured life begins to shatter, Marie confronts questions of love and betrayal, family bonds, and the price of her own choices. Set against the natural splendour of Seattle, and inside the closed vaults of hospital operating rooms, OXYGENclimaxes in a final twist that is as heartrending as it is redeeming.

About the Author

Carol Cassella, MD, is a practicing anesthesiologist, novelist, and speaker. She majored in English literature at Duke University and attended Baylor College of Medicine. She is the bestselling author of the novels Gemini, Oxygen, and Healer, published by Simon & Schuster. Carol lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington, with her husband and two sets of twins. Visit the author at


" A startling plot twist, combined with Cassella's first-hand understanding of our ailing healthcare system, makes this involving debut just what the doctor ordered." -- PEOPLE "More than just an assured debut novel, this book is a tour de force, as emotionally involving as it is intelligent. Carol Cassella writes with the clarity and precision that are the hallmarks of her other profession....The fine, sharp details of her portrait of a gifted doctor facing a devastating crisis will stay with you long after the book is closed." -- Susan Wiggs, author of Fireside and Just Breathe "Like her protagonist, Carol Cassella has the heart of a poet and the mind of a physician; the result is a striking meditation on the complexities of love, the fragile miracle that is the human body and the burdens and blessings of being a healer." -- Stephanie Kallos, author of Broken for You "A finely crafted mystery, as well as a sparkling literary work." -- THE DENVER POST "A subtle, compelling plot that twists and twists again. This quickly becomes a book you cannot put down." -- The Dallas Morning News "In Oxygen, Carol Cassella's taut novel, Dr. Marie Heaton, an assured anesthesiologist at the top of her game, is forced to face the personal and professional fallout from an operating room disaster. Marie finds herself on the losing end of dollars-and-cents medicine in a malpractice suit, questioning herself, her skills, her colleagues, and her life choices. I couldn't wait to race to the end to see how her story played out, and I wasn't disappointed." -- Lalita Tademy, author of Cane River

EAN: 9781416556114
ISBN: 1416556117
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Dimensions: 21.4 x 14 x 2 centimetres (0.29 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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2 review(s)
All Reviews
Ann on
I found this book to have a great story over all, but was a bit slow in parts. With Marie, the anethesist, assisting in the operating theatre and usually it all goes fine, but the one time when Jolene an eight year old girl dies on the operating table and Marie's whole world is thrown in a whirl. First the hospital is by her side and the next they are distancing themselves from her. Through her aging dad and an ex-boyfrend and everything seems to unravel. I liked Marie'd dad and her sister. When Joe came to find her, I wondered what he was upto, but I didn't think it would end as it did.
I will be recommending this book to frends.
Jacqui on
A great novel, that makes you question do you ever really know who you can trust.

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