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10 June 2010

Book Review and Book Tour: The Six-Liter Club by Harry Kraus

Title: The Six-Liter Club
Author: Harry Kraus
Publisher: Howard Books
Publication Date: April 6, 2010
Paperback: 364 pages
ISBN: 978-1416577973
Genre: Fiction

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From the Publisher


Camille Weller has arrived as the first African-American attending in the trauma service of the Medical College of Virginia. Never mind that the locker rooms are labeled "doctors" and "nurses" rather than "men" and "women" or that her dark skin communicates "incapable" to many of her white male colleagues in the OR. Camille has battled prejudices her entire career, but those battles were small spats compared to what she faces now.

When a colleague discovers a lump in her breast, she believes Dr. Camille Weller is the best doctor for her. Together, they decide on a course of treatment that bucks the established medical system, keeping Camille firmly in the crosshairs of male surgeons already riddled with skepticism and suspicion.

Her success as a surgeon is jeopardized further when dark whispers from her childhood in Africa plague Camille’s thoughts. Bewildering panic attacks instill fear in a surgeon bent on maintaining the control, pace, and direction of her own life. Unable to shake the flashes of memory, Camille is forced to face a past she has not acknowledged since the death of her father on an African mission field. Who was he? Who was she? And why would either of those answers affect her present?

My Review:

Mysterious, riveting, and emotionally charged are only a smattering of words to describe The Six-Liter Club by Harry Kraus. Dr. Camille Weller is the first woman to join the Six-Liter Club at the Medical College of Virginia in 1984. She also happens to be the only female doctor in trauma surgery and learns she was hired due to her colour, which angers Camille as she has always viewed herself as a surgeon. After the age of 10 she was raised by her aunt Jeanine, prior to that she lived with her white father and Congolese mother in the Congo. The Six-Liter Club alternates between the struggles Camille is currently facing and flashbacks to the Simba Rebellion of 1964, when she lost both her parents. While The Six-Liter Club is most definitely a medical novel as Kraus takes the reader through the struggles faced by Camille in a world of mainly white men, it is also an intriguing mystery, compelling read, and an all around fascinating novel. Harry Kraus fluidly takes the reader from an operating room in Virginia to the Congo and back again through his writing and his vivid imagery. I found it interesting to see how well he wrote the voice of a young child in the Congo, Kraus clearly has mastered his field. The characters are realistic, some unfortunately so, yet all the same it is quite easy for the reader to get lost in the day to day activities of Camille, a very strong-willed woman, yet one filled with insecurities and discovering at the age of 30 just who she truly is. Kraus delivers a powerful novel that will envelop the reader and will keep the reader turning the pages to find the answers. I would not hesitate to recommend The Six-Liter Club to any reader or discussion group.

About the Author

Best-selling author Harry Kraus, MD, is a board-certified surgeon whose contemporary fiction (beginning with 1994’s Stainless Steal Hearts and including his 2001 best-seller Could I Have This Dance?) is characterized by medical realism. He practices surgery in Virginia and formerly in Kenya where he served as a missionary surgeon. He's also the author of two works of nonfiction.

I received a complimentary copy of The Six-Liter Club by Harry Kraus from Glass Road PR. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.



Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Jennifer - what an interesting read! I would not have guessed what this book was about. I am always looking for good discussion books for my book club.

Harry Kraus said...

Thanks for the review. I wrote this novel during the first year I spent in Kenya, gathering inspiration from Africa. Grace to you! Harry