I was intrigued by this book to the end, it’s a curious tale of loss, guilt and redemption.
Written in first person, ‘The Science of Broken Hearts’ by M St David introduces us to Dr Hunter Newton, a physician with many home and work life complications. The re-emergence of an old flame, now terminally ill, sends Hunter's life even closer to disaster territory than ever. With a prescription drug addiction and difficulty maintaining a strictly professional relationship with his patients, does Hunter really need to invite his first love into his life as his patient tenant and maybe something more? This is an interesting work of contemporary fiction, there are relationships and family dramas throughout the plot which would allow this book to sit within those genres too. As I read I couldn’t quite figure out where the plot was taking me, the redemptive arc subtly hidden behind the focus on Deanna’s health and the spectre of Hunter’s dead brother Grayling which looms large throughout the book. Hunter as a character didn’t inspire empathy in me, but he was well constructed in his self-obsession and self-destruction and I was curious about where the plot of the story would take him. The rest of the cast of characters, although limited as we see them through Hunter’s eyes, have their own developments throughout the book while also supporting Hunter when needed. I was intrigued by this book to the end, it’s a curious tale of loss, guilt and redemption.
Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador
Disaffected New York Physician Dr Hunter Newton lives alone at the old Spring Hill Inn, located in a forgotten part of Queens NY. Recently divorced, chronically depressed, and in danger of losing his license for caring too intensely for his patients, Hunter is one hopeless case short of a meltdown. Enter terminally ill Deanna Kovak, Hunter’s first love and the soon-to-be-ex-wife of his old friend Robert, a Beverley Hills proctologist. British-born artist Deanna has acquired, over twenty childfree years in LA with Robert, the kind of Californian dippy-hippiness that makes Hunter’s skin itch. Even so he welcomes his old flame to Spring Hill, not just as his patient, but also as his tenant, hoping to reawaken their old romance by persuading Deanna to sublet his late brother’s apartment at the Inn. Although Deanna has come to New York to conclude the unfinished business that is Hunter, she is side-tracked into an imaginary love affair with the ghost of Hunter’s brother Gray. Inspired by the intense reaction this provokes in Hunter, who is drowning in guilt over his part in the death of his despised (and despicable) brother, Deanna conspires with Hunter’s girlfriend Bernice, and his ex-wife Susan to lure Hunter to London, where he can be weaned off his prescription drug habit, cured of his many phobias and reacquainted with the decent human he used to be.
|Publication date:||13th August 2021|
|Author:||M St David|
|Primary Genre||Modern and Contemporary Fiction|
Closing date: 12/12/2021