The Doctor Calling by Meredith Appleyard
Review copy provided by publisher
Penguin Random House, February 2016
Synopsis- What Laura was about to do wasn’t easy. To become embroiled in a family’s grief, their anger, their secrets, wasn’t safe, or clever.
Rebuilding her life again after unexpected tragedy, GP Laura O’Connor flees Adelaide, and her medical career, for a quiet life in rural Potters Junction. She’s looking to escape her own family dramas. The last thing she expects is to become caught up in another’s.
Jake Finlay is a man with a troubled past and a passion for risk-taking. After years away from his small home town, he’s hell-bent on keeping his distance. But his father is dying and this could be the last chance they have to make amends.
As Laura and Jake come together over the care for the frail man, they experience an irresistible attraction. Will facing death help them both to grab hold of life? And might love be just what the doctor ordered?
Review- Meredith Appleyard has quickly made it onto my list of fave Aussie authors in the rural romance genre. I enjoy her writing style, the small town communities, the medical influence on her stories, but most of all the character development. She really draws me in as a reader and the internal/ external conflict of the hero and heroine is very well fleshed out.
I won’t say too much about the plot, but I did really connect with the storyline. Appleyard very sensitively explores the issue of end of life, grief and loss. Laura has taken a break from her GP practice and moved out of the city to Potters Junction. She befriends her elderly neighbour and his son Jake. It was a strange experience reading this story at the same time as my husband’s grandfather was living his last weeks in palliative care. So, for many reasons I really connected to this story as it deals with very real issues. Laura and Jake are an unusual couple but I enjoyed their developing friendship and how it naturally evolved to more. Both Laura and Jake grow as individuals in the story which helps to give them a chance as something more. I found it really hard to put this book down and I’ll definitely be reading more from this author!
The Doctor Calling can be purchased from Fishpond and other leading book retailers