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Kimmery Martin is an emergency medicine physician turned novelist who writes medical fiction “to great effect” (New York Times Book Review*) while delivering stories that are “equally insightful about many aspects of long-term female friendships.”* This November, she returns with a prescient and deeply affecting novel centered around three female doctors and friends whose lives are transformed on the frontlines of a new pandemic, DOCTORS AND FRIENDS (Berkley; November 9, 2021; hardcover).
Written prior to Covid-19 and inspired by Martin’s life-long fascination with infectious disease, particularly the 1918 influenza pandemic, DOCTORS AND FRIENDS “shines a sharp, compassionate light on the lives of the women behind the masks and scrubs during a crisis that is both achingly familiar and punctuated by twists and turns you won’t see coming” (USA Today bestselling author Meg Donohue).
In the novel, Hannah, Compton, and Kira are close friends from medical school whose lives are upended when an outbreak of a fast-spreading virus throws the world into chaos—and them onto the frontlines. In New York City, Compton Winfield, an ER doctor, must face a city changed beyond recognition—and a personal loss so gutting it reshapes every aspect of her life. In San Diego, Hannah Geier, an ob-gyn, discovers she’s expecting a baby after years of trying, just as the disease engulfs her city. In Atlanta, Kira Marchand, an infectious disease doctor at the CDC, finds herself at the center of the American response to the terrifying new illness. Her professional battle turns personal when she must decide which of her children will receive an experimental but potentially life-saving treatment.
To research the novel, Martin consulted with people at the CDC, the NIH, and the Epidemic Intelligence Service, some of whom are quite well known. Originally conceived as a cautionary this-could-really-happen tale that explored how the medical world would respond to a new strain of a highly lethal, very contagious virus, DOCTORS AND FRIENDS evolved to have a more human focus when our reality was becoming eerily similar to the fictional world Martin had created. The result is a perspective most of us are unfamiliar with—a glimpse into the private lives of medical professionals on the frontlines—despite how profoundly our lives continue to be impacted by their sacrifices.
As bookseller Pamela Klinger-Horn notes, “Author and doctor Kimmery Martin knows her fellow doctors, her medicine, and how to craft a cast of characters with phenomenal empathy, compassion, and integrity. Having lived and experienced the world through the lens of the Covid shut down, I can highly recommend DOCTORS AND FRIENDS as the message of hope that the world needs, as well as a powerful novel.”
With DOCTORS AND FRIENDS, Martin “reminds us that no crisis will ever shrink our capacity for love—and when threatened—our will to fight back.” (P.J. Vernon, author of Bath Haus). We look forward to discussing plans for coverage
“A prescient, human and hopeful portrait of medical experts on a pandemic’s frontlines.”—People
Hannah, Compton, and Kira have been close friends since medical school, reuniting once a year for a much-needed vacation. Just as they gather to travel in Spain, an outbreak of a fast-spreading virus throws the world into chaos.