how to save a life

Zadie Anson knows a lot about mending broken hearts. As a pediatric heart surgeon, that is literally her day job. But she also knows about heartbreak personally, from having lived and loved as a medical resident. 

Emma Colley knows a lot about brokenness too. As a trauma surgeon, she has seen more than her fair share of broken bones, broken families, and yes, broken hearts. It's her job to fix what she can and move on, letting specialists step in where needed. She knows a lot about emotional brokenness too, having escaped a childhood of extreme poverty to make her way through college, to medical school and beyond. 

For Zadie and Emma--whose friendship formed while they were still in high school--secrets, medicine, and love bound them together for decades. But it was their third year of residency that made their bond virtually indestructible. Even now, as they wrestle with the crammed schedules of work, husbands, and kids, they make sure to check in with each other every week. They have good lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with lots of love and, laughter, and drinks served poolside at the country club. 

And then the past comes waltzing back into their lives. Nick Xenokostas--Dr. X.--was Zadie's boss when she made the biggest mistake of her residency, as well as her lover. And then tragedy struck, sending all their lives in different directions. Zadie and Emma were able to move forward as doctors and as friends by leaving the past in the past. But will they be able to maintain that now that the past is back in their lives? Or will Nick's reappearance end the women's friendship, and maybe even one of their careers?

The Queen of Hearts is an engrossing story of medicine, friendship, healing, and love. I've heard it compared to Grey's Anatomy, and as someone who is still a fan of the show, I'd agree. It reminded me of the early seasons (the best seasons), and I read it just as obsessively as I used to watch (and rewatch) those first few seasons. Debut novelist Kimmery Martin is herself a doctor and an admitted avid reader. Her years of reading and reviewing novels shines through her lovely writing. Her characters were perfect for the story and fascinating. I loved this novel, and I recommend it wholeheartedly!


Galleys for The Queen of Hearts were provided by Berkley through Edelweiss, with many thanks.