‘Doctor & the Diva’ filled with tenderness, courage

Erika Von Kessler is a brilliant singer on the cusp of an even more brilliant career in the opera world of 1903. Young, beautiful and rich with an adoring husband, she has everything a woman could ask for — but for one thing.

She wants desperately to give her husband, Peter, a child.

For years, Erika and Peter have met with some of the top doctors in the United States, searching for help conceiving a child, but to no avail. Then Erika’s brother suggests the couple go see Dr. Ravell, a young obstetrician who has had great success in the field of fertility. The doctor agrees to help them, and Erika becomes pregnant but then loses the child to stillbirth.

Erika is crushed and vows to never attempt the treatments again. She is determined to further her career and makes plans to move to Italy, with or without her husband.

In the meantime, Dr. Ravell is caught in a jealousy-induced scandal and is forced to give up his Boston practice and move to a plantation in Trinidad, where he hopes to find a measure of peace. However, when Peter Von Kessler asks to visit him for one last chance at conception, he agrees to see the couple, even though he knows the risk he is about to take could change all of their lives forever.

In her debut novel, “The Doctor & the Diva,” author Adrienne McDonnell draws upon her own family’s history to bring to life a story of desperation, determination and dedication that will impact the reader’s life long after the last page is turned. McDonnell brings tenderness, courage and sensuality to this tale, from the vast settings of a wintry Boston to the exotic islands of Trinidad to the dramatic music venues of Italy.

This novel is an absolute treat to savor and enjoy and I look forward to further works from Adrienne McDonnell.

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