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Informative,
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12 reviews

Oxygen: A Novel
by Carol Cassella

Published: 2009-06-09
Paperback : 320 pages
7 members reading this now
18 clubs reading this now
10 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 10 of 12 members
With the compassion of Jodi Picoult and the medical realism of Atul Gawande, real-life anesthesiologist Carol Cassella’s riveting national bestseller seamlessly melds compelling women’s fiction and medical drama to create an “involving debut that’s just what the doctor ordered” ...
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Introduction

With the compassion of Jodi Picoult and the medical realism of Atul Gawande, real-life anesthesiologist Carol Cassella’s riveting national bestseller seamlessly melds compelling women’s fiction and medical drama to create an “involving debut that’s just what the doctor ordered” (People).

Dr. Marie Heaton is an anesthesiologist at the height of her profession. She has worked, lived, and breathed her career since medical school, and she now practices at a top Seattle hospital. Marie has carefully constructed and constricted her life according to empirical truths, to the science and art of medicine. But when her tried-and-true formula suddenly deserts her during a routine surgery, she must explain the nightmarish operating room disaster and face the resulting malpractice suit. Marie’s best friend, colleague, and former lover, Dr. Joe Hillary, becomes her closest confidante as she twists through depositions, accusations and a remorseful preoccupation with the mother of the patient in question. As she struggles to salvage her career and reputation, Marie must face hard truths about the path she’s chosen, the bridges she’s burned, and the colleagues and superiors she’s mistaken for friends.

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 Marie has been estranged from her Texas roots for decades, the ultimate responsibility for their father’s care is falling on her.

As her carefully structured life begins to collapse, Marie confronts questions of love and betrayal, family bonds and the price of her own choices. Set against the natural splendor of Seattle, and inside the closed vaults of hospital operating rooms, Oxygen climaxes in a final twist that is as heartrending as it is redeeming.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Why do hospitals allow members of the team leave the operating room?
Operating room should not work in chaos but have a definite set of plans.
Why were the preadmissions testing good enough to catch all the issues with this child?
by lovebooks (see profile) 02/26/10

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Oxygen"by [email protected] (see profile) 09/30/17

Overwritten, predictable, not especially interesting.

 
  "Hard to Come Up for Air"by nbaker (see profile) 05/07/14

Oxygen is a story of an ananesthesiologist who lost an 8-year old girl on the operating table. While legal battles unfold, the real story is in the telling of the life of such a doctor. It is the untold... (read more)

 
  "Oxygen: A Novel"by LissaW (see profile) 02/11/14

It was slow in the beginning but once it laid the "ground work" it was interesting. It made me aware of things that I hd not thought about before.

 
  "Oxygen"by anndeupree (see profile) 01/23/12

This novel is informative but may result in anxiety if you're about to have surgery. Our book club found the main character to be somewhat two dimensional, and some people liked it better than others.... (read more)

 
  "Oxygen"by judy4110 (see profile) 01/23/12

 
  "WOW! Don't want to go to surgery!"by netmayo (see profile) 11/10/11

You just begin to imagine how many things can go wrong.

 
  "Makes you think!!!!!"by netmayo (see profile) 11/04/11

A fictional story about the over worked hospital staff that almost makes you scared to go to the hospital. Gets you thinking.

 
  "Oxygen"by Lollyj (see profile) 10/15/11

A timely, convincing first person narrative that enlightens the reader about medical situations in particular, in addition to giving a terrific and tense view of the evolving mental/emotional state of... (read more)

 
  "Oxygen"by Ramsayrl (see profile) 12/17/10

I thought it was a fast, easy read. I enjoyed the story....didn't absolutely love it, but didn't dislike it either! It would be a great beach read!

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