Monday, June 23, 2008

Mother Talk Review: More Than It Hurts You

I have just finished reading the third novel by Darin Strauss (the acclaimed author of Chang and Eng) making this my first read by this author. In this newest work, Strauss touches on a variety of subjects reaching out to a wide and varied audience.

In More Than It Hurts You, the main characters are Josh and Dori Goldin, a white Jewish family from Long Island who on the outside look like the typical young family but soon you find out that something is very wrong in the Goldin household.

The story begins with the husband, Josh who is enjoying a relaxing Friday afternoon work break joking with colleagues. His life is forever changed though when his secretary rushes in to tell Josh that his wife just called from the emergency room where she had taken their eight month old son, Zack. Panic stricken, Josh rushes to St. Joe’s hospital and finds out Dori had entered the emergency room that morning with the baby who had coded in the parking lot.

As Josh tries to figure out what is going on, a battle is being fought between Dori and the head of pediatric ICU, Dr. Darlene Stokes. Josh’s wife refuses to allow anymore tests to be done on her son since he now seems to be fine. Something about Dori stirs the doctor’s suspicions and Darline tries to understand why this woman doesn’t want to find out exactly why her son coded in the parking lot of St. Joe’s only hours ago. Being a single mother herself, Dr. Stokes can only think of how she would feel if it had been her son. Not understanding any of it, Josh is forced to trust his wife’s judgement as they take their son from the hospital against the doctor’s orders.

Now I won’t tell you how the whole book goes but I will say that what follows is another shocking E.R. trip, child protective services gets involved, a family is turned upside down, the meaning of “love” is twisted, and a doctor’s faith in the system is put to the test. The whole story seems to steep itself in racism, classism, and sensationalism when finally you are handed the very thing you knew all along. If the first part of the book enticed you then you’ll just have to go read it for yourself. I can’t tell you the whole thing because then why would you bother getting the book hmmmm?

I have to say that parts of the story left me scratching my head. Of course, I have a tendency to over analyze things and can’t just leave well enough alone so that could be why. *smile* More Than It Hurts You was interesting though and touched on a subject that isn’t well known in our society even though it most definitely exists as I've seen an example of it myself.

I can’t say this book really grabbed me though. It did give me an interest in reading Darin Schauss’ other novels so I say give More Than It Hurts You a chance. I think many of you have and will find it to your liking.

*This review brought to you courtesy of Mother Talk*


Daisy said...

The book was a page-turner, full of surprises. Strauss created a fascinating story!