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When a handsome, bookish boy from Seattle s pends the summer in her sleepy logging town, thirteen-year-old Raney’s world is turned upside down.

Decades later, an unidentified victim of a hit-and-run is airlifted to Dr. Charlotte Reese’s intensive care unit. In the fight to keep her patient stable, Charlotte finds herself consumed with questions of the woman’s identity. But when she enlists her journalist boyfriend to search for answers, their investigation leads them to heartrending truths about Jane Doe–and themselves.

Filled with intriguing medical detail and set in the breathtaking Pacific Northwest, Gemini is a vivid novel of moral complexity and emotional depth from the bestselling author of Oxygen and Healer.

(Story synopsis from paperback cover of Simon & Schuster edition; cover image from goodreads.com)

Gemini by Carol Cassella is the February book for the Pi Phi Pages book club (I actually did not read the January book 😦 ). I was once again very happy to set aside some of my nonfiction reading to read Gemini. This is actually the first novel of Cassella’s that I’ve read, but I am interested in reading more of her books because I enjoyed Gemini.

Cassella was able to accomplish something with her writing that I think is very difficult to do: she was able to intertwine two different stories together in one book. The way Cassella did this did not make the story seem choppy (at least in my mind), but instead allowed us greater insight into our two main characters, as well as the common link between them.

When I first started reading Gemini, I was very thankful that my husband works in the medical field and has experience in both ICU and surgery. Gemini opens up with some medical description of the condition of “Jane Doe” as well as some of the treatment that was given to her before she arrived as Charlotte’s patient. There were a few times in the first few pages where I paused and would read to him a section or two so he could explain what it meant. I know this wasn’t necessarily essential to the story, but my curious mind wanted to know.

While the stories of Raney and Charlotte were intriguing, and obviously essential to the story, I was also interested to learn more about Eric’s life (Charlotte’s journalist boyfriend). I felt that there were missing pieces to his story, although this might have been intentional on Cassella’s part. Cassella also did a brilliant job of not revealing the meaning behind the title of the book until much later in the story. I was certainly guessing the entire time, trying to figure out the connection and reevaluating the information that she gave the readers. I don’t really mean to tease you with the information, but I don’t want to give too much away with the story because it is a very important part that I don’t want to ruin for you.

I will say that as a person who normally isn’t drawn to stories dealing with science/medical information/genetic abnormalities, Gemini certainly caught and kept my attention. This is a wonderfully written, easy to follow novel from Carol Cassella for anyone who also enjoys a bit of mystery.