The Doctor and the Diva
By Adrienne McDonnell
(Pamela Dorman Books, Hardcover, 9780670021888, 432pp.)
Publication Date: July 22, 2010
List Price: $26.95*
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A breathtaking novel of romantic obsession, longing and one woman's choice between motherhood and her operatic calling
It is 1903. Dr. Ravell is a young Harvard-educated obstetrician with a growing reputation for helping couples conceive. He has treated women from all walks of Boston society, but when Ravell meets Erika-an opera singer whose beauty is surpassed only by her spellbinding voice-he knows their doctor- patient relationship will be like none he has ever had.
After struggling for years to become pregnant, Erika believes there is no hope. Her mind is made up: she will leave her prominent Bostonian husband to pursue her career in Italy, a plan both unconventional and risky. But becoming Ravell's patient will change her life in ways she never could have imagined.
Lush and stunningly realized, The Doctor and the Diva moves from snowy Boston to the jungles of Trinidad to the gilded balconies of Florence. This magnificent debut is a tale of passionate love affairs, dangerous decisions, and a woman's irreconcilable desires as she is forced to choose between the child she has always longed for and the opera career she cannot live without. Inspired by the author's family history, the novel is sensual, sexy, and heart-stopping in its bittersweet beauty.
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Adrienne McDonnell has taught literature and fiction writing at the University of California, Berkeley. She lives near San Francisco in a house overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.