By Carol Cassella
(Simon & Schuster, Paperback, 9781416556114, 320pp.)

Publication Date: June 9, 2009

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall '09/Winter '10 Reading Group List
“Dr. Marie Heaton, a successful anesthesiologist at a prominent Seattle hospital, must come to terms with an operating-room tragedy, including the fallout from the hospital, the patient's family, and her conscience. Cassella has written an absolutely honest emotional portrayal of a kind, strong, and dedicated woman caught up in a crisis of doubt and remorse. A provocative, intelligent, and beautifully faceted book.”
-- Tova Beiser, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, RI
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the July 2008 Indie Next List
“When Dr. Marie Heaton's judgment in a tragic case is questioned, she begins to doubt herself and, then, others around her. I thoroughly enjoyed the book -- full of action and suspense and rich in characterization and subplots -- from start to finish.”
-- Gayle Wingerter, Inklings Bookshop, Yakima, WA


Now in paperback, Carol Cassella’s riveting national bestseller that seamlessly melds compelling women’s fiction and medical drama to create an “involving debut that’s just what the doctor ordered” (People).

• Perennial hot subject: From ER to Grey’s Anatomy, from Complications by Atul Gawande to Stiff by mary roach, there’s a proven appetite for stories of human drama centered around medical establishments.

• Authenticity: Carol Cassella is a practicing anesthesiologist in Washington state whose work informs that of her compelling heroine, Dr. Marie Heaton, as well as the fabulous medical writing throughout the novel.

• Gripping, timely story: Oxygen opens with Marie Heaton, an anesthesiologist at the height of her medical career, facing a nightmarish operating room disaster that ends a child’s life and launches a tangled malpractice suit. As Marie twists through depositions, accusations, and a remorseful preoccupation with the dead child’s mother, she must also cope with her own aging father and confront questions of love and betrayal, family bonds, and the price of her own choices. With a final twist as heartrending as it is redeeming, Oxygen is a gripping and auspicious debut.

About the Author

Carol Cassella majored in English Literature at Duke University and graduated from medical school in 1986. She currently practices anesthesia in Seattle and is a freelance medical writer specializing in global public health advocacy for the developing world. She lives in Bainbridge Island, Washington, with her husband and their two sets of twins.

Praise For Oxygen

"In Oxygen, Carol Cassella's taut novel, Dr. Marie Heaton, an assured anesthesiologist at the top of her game, is forced to face the personal and professional fallout from an operating room disaster. Marie finds herself on the losing end of dollars-and-cents medicine in a malpractice suit, questioning herself, her skills, her colleagues, and her life choices. I couldn't wait to race to the end to see how her story played out, and I wasn't disappointed." -- Lalita Tademy, author of Cane River

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