The Silence of Snow by Eileen Merriman
Updated: Oct 1, 2020
Eileen Merriman is a medical doctor by day and a writer by night, and she’s written a number of award-winning novels for young adults, including Pieces of You and Catch Me When You Fall. The Silence of Snow is her second novel for adults, and it’s very impressive.
Rory McBride is an Anesthetist, working long hours at the local hospital in Nelson. He’s an experienced medical professional, outwardly charming and in control, but behind this façade he is a man self-medicating with sleeping pills and sedatives to help him get through his days and nights. Ever since a routine procedure resulted in a young girl’s death, he is plagued by flashbacks, sleeplessness and escalating panic attacks. He is barely holding things together.
Jodi Waterstone is a first-year-doctor working at the same hospital, and she is struggling with the exhausting hours and impossible workload, and more than once Rory helps her out of a sticky situation. Even though Jodi is engaged, she is drawn to Rory, and it’s not long before their relationship becomes more than professional – but she has no idea of his spiralling drug addiction, or the traumatic reason why he isn’t coping. Can Jodi save Rory from himself?
This is a page-turning medical drama, that feels fresh and authentic. Eileen has created characters that are multi-layered and real, both Jodi and Rory trying to keep control of their lives that are out of control in different ways. It certainly highlights the toll exhaustion and too many cases has on our medical professionals. And it also highlights how complex drug addiction is, and how difficult it is to remedy. I’d love to see Eileen write more medical dramas like this– this book is a cut above similar books.
Reviewer: Karen McMillan
Penguin Random House