Book Review: The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin

Ours was a friendship forged when we were young, the kind that endures no matter what because losing it would be like losing an aspect of your own personality: your sense of humor or your ability to empathize. You wouldn’t be the same person without your friend as your external hard drive. I know, because for quite a while there I thought I would lose her.

Zadie and Emma bonded over their shared ambitions and the rigors of medical school residency. Their friendship served as the life-preserver to which they clung to in the rough ocean of life as they grew into the adults they strived to become. Having weathered even the roughest storm, it was unlikely there could be anything that would shake their bond—that is, until now.

But there are some things I don’t want to remember. Emma and I have an unspoken agreement regarding our third year of medical school: we don’t bring it up. Maybe even more than me, Emma has good reason to avoid those topics, and if there’s one characteristic you’d assign to my closest friend within a nanosecond of meeting her, it’s self-discipline. So I was completely dismantled when Emma texted me she wanted to talk about it.

Years later, they are both successful physicians: Zadie, a pediatric cardiologist and Emma, a trauma surgeon. When they are not saving lives, both women are dedicated wives and mothers— balancing the responsibilities of their demanding careers while coordinating carpool and wrangling ornery toddlers. As the story develops, we get a peek into the real life of professional working mothers, which adds humor and vitality as the story takes one dramatic turn after another.

When someone from Zadie’s and Emma’s shared past reappears, they are forced to confront the most difficult parts of their early friendship and only time will tell if their bond is solid enough to withstand the betrayal. Nick was Zadie’s chief resident during her trauma rotation and his charm quickly became a distraction leading to one of Zadie’s most memorable days as a physician, for more reason than one. When he shows up in Emma’s and Zadies’s new hometown, old wounds are reopened that even the most talented surgeon can only hope to repair.

The physicists have a term: “gravitational time delay.” It’s derived from Einstein’s theory of general relativity, referring to the fact that speeding objects seem to slow down as they hear the gravitational pull of a massive physical object-thus effectively producing the slowing of time. With di amazement, I observed with my own eyes as time slowed to a crawl, hobbled by the enormity of the betrayal Zadie was about to discover. I spun helplessly in a suspended animation of my own creation as Zadie’s hand inched ever closer to Nick’s. She took the photograph from him. She looked at it. She began to cry.

Deftly written, Martin chronicles the details of the burgeoning medical careers of two women while illuminating their most human qualities with equal success. Her characters are vivid and the story is the perfect combination of hospital drama and the resilience of female friendship.

“I take it you two repaired your friendship?”

My lips parted, but nothing came out.

Nick stiffened. I could almost hear the cerebral cogs start churning as he realized what I wasn’t saying. An undefinable expression crossed his face.

“She still doesn’t know what you did,” he said. He began blinking hard and fast. “Oh my God.”


A review copy of this title was povided by Berkley Publishing.


3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin

  1. I can’t tell if I want to read this or not – based on reviews I’ve seen, sometimes it seems too “chick lit” and sometimes is seems super intense. And I really can’t figure out what it actually like. Haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chick lit is always a misnomer in my opinion. It’s a fun read with good drama and a solid medical plot. The relation to Grays Anatomy is pretty spot on so if you enjoy that show you will likely enjoy this book

      Liked by 1 person

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