Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group and Netgalley for an early review copy of The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin, which will publish February 13, 2018. All thoughts are my own.
From the publisher:
Zadie Anson and Emma Colley have been best friends since their early twenties, when they first began navigating serious romantic relationships amid the intensity of medical school. Now they’re happily married wives and mothers with successful careers- Zadie as a pediatric cardiologist and Emma as a trauma surgeon. Their lives in Charlotte, North Carolina are chaotic but fulfilling, until the return of a former colleague unearths a secret one of them has been harboring for years.
As chief resident, Nick Xenokostas was the center of Zadie’s life- both professionally and personally- throughout a tragic chain of events in her third year of medical school that she has long since put behind her. Nick’s unexpected reappearance during a time of new professional crisis shocks both women into a deeper look at the difficult choices they made at the beginning of their careers. As it becomes evident that Emma must have known more than she revealed about circumstances that nearly derailed both their lives, Zadie starts to question everything she thought she knew about her closest friend.
Kimmery Martin’s charming debut, The Queen of Hearts, has been pitched as Grey’s Anatomy meets Big Little Lies, a statement that could not be more accurate. It’s a smart, sweet, and witty novel about friendship and forgiveness, with emergency room trauma at the center of it all.
The Queen of Hearts is real and refreshing, but it has its faults. One thing that stuck out to me immediately was Martin’s overuse of SAT vocabulary, which made for awkward language and broke the flow between sentences. The pretentious-sounding diction didn’t mesh well with the otherwise not-so-pretentious story, and the story itself is full of predictable plot twists. Not only that, but Martin jumps right into it, which may be a great strategy to captivate the audience, but it severely hindered the character development. I found that by the end of the novel, after all the major events had happened, I didn’t exactly care about the characters and their tragedies. Perhaps I am just spoiled by long, character-driven novels in which there is nothing but pages and pages of development.
However, what The Queen of Hearts lacks in style and strategy, it makes up for in humor. Martin writes dialogue-heavy prose that’s sure to make you laugh out loud at least a few times, most likely due to Zadie’s interactions with her three year-old daughter Delaney. The Queen of Hearts is light and airy, and a quick, easy read; I devoured its entirety in just a few hours. It’s a perfect book to pull you out of a reading slump.
Fans of medical dramas like Grey’s Anatomy will fall in love with The Queen of Hearts.