5 Stars Out Of 5
The BEST of Candace Calvert's medical dramas so far!
August 5, 2014
Life Support is the third book in the Grace Medical series by Candace Calvert. Trauma Plan is the first book while Rescue Plan is the second. All three books are completely independent of each other as a Christian medical series. Each book is a romance which touches on some serious yet interesting topics that are relevant for today's readers.
Lauren Barclay is a nurse in ER at Houston Grace Hospital. This is her home town where her parents and sister lives. Although she has worked at Austin Grace Hospital for a short time, she is back and taking up where she left off--helping her folks look after her younger sister, Jess. Jess was always a little bit unstable emotionally. For the most part, she would be normal, but once in awhile she became restless, impulsive, irresponsible; one time she even ran away. Her family, including Lauren, tip-toed around her, afraid of upsetting her fragile state of mind. Lauren figured that's what family was for. Helping her sister took a lot of her time and attention, but eventually Elijah Landry began to claim some of her time as well. This did not sit well with Jess because at one time she and Eli had a history.
Elijah Landry is a Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C) in charge of the Urgent Care unit in the Houston Grace Hospital. When he and his brother Andrew were young, they enjoyed water sports with their dad. But one day Drew suffered a head injury that left him with brain damage and physical problems. Eventually he ended up in care facilities with serious health complications. Eli and his father, Judge Julien Landry, disagreed how Drew should be cared for, especially in emergencies such as the one at the opening of this book.
Eli had been friends with Jess once. But after she disappeared and returned a year ago, he had tried to help the family in a professional capacity. Jess and her parents did not appreciate his suggestions that Jess get psychological assistance. Neither did Lauren, but she did not hold it against Eli. She enjoyed his company and the company of his young daughter Emma. The question is whether all these family complications will keep Lauren and Eli from getting closer.
First off, I love how Candace Calvert writes her medical dramas. I have read several of them and in each one she creates characters that are likable, interesting, and growing. The action is usually fast-paced and gripping. She chooses topics which offer something for the reader to think about, above and beyond the medical scenes. The family dynamics she writes about are spot on, true to life and credible. Life Support is Calvert's newest book with plots and subplots that draw us close to her characters. One additional thing I enjoy about this author is that sometimes the supporting characters in one book become the main character in another one. This is true for Lauren who was a nurse in one of the other books in this series.
This book's subplot, intricately intertwined with the main plot, touches on an intriguing topic in this book: bipolar and its effects on family life. This is a subject close to my heart because I have been living with my own diagnosis of bipolar, and grew up with a mother who was never diagnosed with it, but in my opinion had the condition. The pattern of enabling and denial was a familiar scenario to me, and I recognized it when the author demonstrated it effectively throughout this story. Her descriptions, the problems that cropped up, the crisis which climaxed and the solution presented were all realistic and completely believable. The one thing I drew from this subplot is that anyone living with a mental health problem needs a team of supporters. People like me living with this condition should not have to deal with it alone. The sufferer needs support from family, friends and professionals. I saw this all fleshed out in this book. I am very impressed with the author's acumen and sensitivity when writing on this topic.
In spite of the serious nature of the subplot's thread, the writer includes a metaphor that brings out comic relief when it's needed most. Just look for the dogs, especially the shih tzu and her situation with the Barclay family. There is definitely a good dose of irony with the dog drama that runs parallel to the family drama. I can't help but appreciate that level of humor used in this book. I hope you enjoy it too.
I am reading and reviewing this book for the Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. summer reading program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.