Eileen Merriman, author of The Silence of Snow, has provided some background information on her latest book along with some discussion points for your book club meeting!
A note from the author:
Learning that I had gained entry to medical school was one of the best days of my life, and, apart from writing, I can’t think of any other occupation that I would be in. I vividly remember my junior doctor years, and how exciting/exhausting/stressful that time was. There is a high risk of burnout in medicine, with higher than average rates of depression and suicide. When researching this book, I became fascinated in the subject of substance abuse in anaesthetists, who obviously have easy access to some very powerful and addictive medications – and the reasons as to why this may occur. All of this background provided the embryo of an idea for this novel, which I hope will provide an insight into the medical world, as written from a doctor’s perspective.
1. It quickly becomes apparent in this novel that Rory is suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, resulting from a patient dying while under his care. Do you think his guilt/sense of responsibility for this event is justified? Why/why not?
2. Would you classify this novel as a medical drama? Why/why not, and are there any other books that could fit into this classification that you have read/heard of?
3. What do you think is/are the overarching theme/themes of this novel?
4. Rory and Jodi quickly fall into a romantic relationship, having met at work (where Jodi is a first-year doctor, whilst Rory is very close to completing his training). Do you see any potential dangers/power imbalances in such a relationship? Do any of these come to the fore in this novel?
5. Do you think the ending is realistic? Why/why not? If you were the author, how would you have chosen to end this novel? Does this differ from your preference as a reader?
6. Who was your favourite character, and why? Are there any characters you found annoying or unconvincing, and why?
Also by Eileen Merriman: