Strengths: Honest and emotive.
Weaknesses: Not as much humour (difficult given the setting)
Why I read it: Loved Trust Me, I’m a Junior Doctor
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Rating: 9 out of 10
If you liked this, try: Bodies by Jed Mercurio
Max Pemberton is a talented writer and a very good doctor from what I read. Here in his second book (his third has just been released in the UK), he leaves the hospital where he did his initial training to work on the streets, looking after the homeless, mentally ill and substance dependent. While this doesn’t provide as much of an opportunity for humour as the initial book, there are still some very funny moments (bin diving for designer shirts) as well as some very poignant and sad ones. It’s an excellent insight into the life of working with people who are forced to live on the fringes of society.
This was a fast and easy read – probably because I was so interested in finding out what happened to each of the character – Sister Stein, the stern nurse at the drug dependency clinic; Patrick, who will restore your belief in the human spirit and Max’s former flatmates. The darker side of the book deals with topics not discussed very often – drug dependency in pregnancy, people who prefer life with drugs, those who battle mental illness and those that live on the streets. I found this a good insight into what patients may be experiencing. There were sad points and high points – just like life itself.
One question I do have is why Max left after one year – was his contract up? Did he prefer work in the hospital?
A great story and I eagerly await his third book!