Monday, April 05, 2010
Harry Kraus's The Six-Liter Club ~ Reviewed
The Six-Liter Club
by Harry Kraus, M.D.
Published by Howard Books, April, 2010
In 1983, Dr. Camille Weller is the first black woman to attain the status of attending staff at Medical College of Virginia. She is gritty, assertive, and used to excelling over her male colleagues. A trauma surgeon, Camille enters the prestigious Six-Liter Club on her first day on the job. A sparsely populated “club,” the Six-Liter Club is a group of surgeons who have managed to save a patient who sheds an overwhelming six liters of blood.
Given her groundbreaking status, work is challenging enough for Camille, but her private life is even more complicated. Born in Africa and orphaned as a young child, Camille was raised by a white aunt in the South. She is troubled by flashbacks from her youth, growing up in the Congo as a child of an American missionary and a Congolese mother. After a counselor mistakenly convinces Camille that her father abused her as a child, she must learn how to find the truth and accept the faith of her father.
Harry Kraus has plumbed the depths of the female psyche, making Camille Weller a credible and memorable character in his sophomore novel, The Six-Liter Club. A fresh voice in fiction, Harry doesn’t overpower the story with an excess of medical jargon. I never felt lost or like I was standing on the outside looking in.
His protagonist, Camille, is faced with professional prejudice, both gender and color, and is tired of going along with “the boys.” Making her life more complicated are the nightmares and flashbacks that plague her, and she worries the stress of her job is affecting her sanity. Throw in a love interest and a few surprises I never saw coming, The Six-Liter Club is a great read. I give it a high recommendation.
Reviewed by Ane Mulligan
Editor, Novel Journey
I must admit that I went into reading this with slight trepidation. In my mind I basically dared Harry to “Make my day.” How dare he try to write a book from an African American woman’s point of view, especially since I am one!
Well preconceived notion or not, I was blown away by Six-Liter Club! Harry channeled all of the emotions and angst of a woman in that position, into a cohesive and fast moving story. Camille Weller rang true as a person placed in those difficult circumstances, and many of the emotions she felt, I have also experienced.
The story is a fast-paced easy read of a medical community without all the tongue-twisting medical references that could slow you down. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to his next.
Reviewed by: Bonnie S. Calhoun at: Bonnie Writes