Months ago I was sent South Eight by Larry Atlas and I started it earlier this week. I wanted to spotlight it, because I liked the premise of the book and I actually really liked the characters, but I think I just wasn’t in the mood for it at the moment so I ended up skimming it. Nonetheless, like I said I did like the characters so here’s the syopsis!
The emotionally-charged story of South Eight follows Dr. Abel Arkin’s collision with the demands and contradictions of modern acute care medicine. Already spiraling into depression and desperately seeking salvation in a new relationship, he finds himself face-to-face with his deadly past. Nothing he does feels like it will ever be enough.
For Arkin, the moral questions that accompany medicine reach back to his time as the spotter on an Army sniper team in Afghanistan, when the clarity of his training and skills converged with the uncertainty of mission outcomes and personal trauma. The old dilemmas and doubts join those of the present when a newly arrived patient tries to blackmail him with the threatened exposure of a wartime catastrophe and simultaneously underlines Arkin’s increasing ambivalence about what he is actually accomplishing for his patients, what may be missing from the life-and-death calculations he makes every day.
As mentioned above, I did end up skimming the book just because it didn’t grab my attention. I think this was because of my reading mood this week and the book isn’t to blame. However, the book did have a lot of medical jargon that took up whole paragraphs so that had me lose interest at times. I’ve read medical dramas before or even memoirs, but there’s a difference between writing about a diagnosis or a treatment and detailing for paragraphs at a time about exact dosages etc. That wasn’t a deal breaker though just something to note!
I really liked Arkin and his love interest, Kate, a nurse at the hospital he works at as a doctor. The two of them, their blossoming relationship, and their support for one another really made the book for me. I may revisit the book and read it through in the future, but for now this spotlight will have to do!
*This book was sent to me complimentary, but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.*