|Trauma Plan by Candace Calvert|
ER nurse Riley Hale has suffered an attack by an unknown assailant in the Hospital parking lot. The effects of her injury leave Riley with a weakened dominant arm and a numb dominant hand. As a result Riley has been taken off the ER team, but due to her influential family name the Hospital creates a permanent position of Hospital Chaplain to accommodate Riley. Riley is nevertheless determined to regain her strength and skills and return to the ER. It is, however, hard to regain her skills when the Hospital won’t let her use them – Riley is not allowed to work on patients.
Doctor Jack Travis is an adrenaline junkie with a passion for helping the disadvantaged. He runs a free clinic in a wealthy part of town, much to the dismay of the residents as homeless beggars, drug addicts and prostitutes are not an unusual sight in the neighbourhood, as they seek help at Jack’s clinic. Inundated with protest action and attempts to have the clinic shut down, Jack learns of Riley Hale – a wealthy, highly respected nurse with valuable family connections, desperate for a chance to work on patients. After getting off on the wrong foot he offers her a volunteer spot at his clinic, giving her the much needed patient treatment opportunities she desperately needs to hone her skills, hoping her involvement with the clinic will be good PR.
As Jack and Riley work together, she sees more than the aggressive maverick recklessly tempting fate at every turn – she sees a kind man with a good heart, a man she can believe in; Jack sees more than the broken victim – he sees a vulnerable but strong woman of faith who has a gift of helping people with her words even more than with her actions. As Jack and Riley find acceptance and comfort in each other’s arms, Riley’s overprotective family hires a private investigator to find out more about the new man in their daughter’s life.
When a horrific secret from Jack’s youth is dragged into the open it might not only mean the end of his relationship with Riley, but the end of his clinic as well. An agoraphobic patient of Riley’s carries a secret of her own – the secret that just might make everything right.
Trauma Plan (Grace Medical book 1) by Candace Calvert is a very enjoyable read. Her story centers around a theme of fear – fear of past events, fear of a repeat thereof, fear of incompetence, fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of life. Fear, if left to grow, can become a debilitating reality in our lives, and Trauma Plan does a beautiful job of bringing that point across. Calvert addresses the importance of not letting fear take over your life, of trusting the One who holds you in the palm of His hand. I love how the several threads of the story ultimately come together, and once you see the bigger picture you see that everything was connected all along. Trauma Plan concurs with my belief that there is no such thing as coincidence – God has a plan and He’s bringing everything together even though we cannot see or understand what it might be.
The characters in Trauma Plan are wonderfully believable. Every single character has his or her own cross to bear, and it is an absolute joy to go through their emotional journeys with them. Calvert took great care to fully develop every character throughout the novel, and their emotional struggles are some most Christians can relate to. I especially love Jack’s friend Bandy (acting as his spiritual guide), and his little dog Hobo. The only unresolved issue, for me, is the character of Kate who does not get any kind of closure. She is still running from her past, running from her fears and running from her reality, but I suspect her story will form the foundation of the next Grace Medical book.
Calvert’s own experience as an ER nurse lends her work a level of authenticity – when she goes into medical jargon and medical procedures you can tell she knows what she’s talking about. Any fans of contemporary Christian literature will enjoy this book, as will anyone with interest in the medical field. Calvert’s work has been described as “Grey’s Anatomy with heart”, and I can’t think of a better description myself.
Title: Trauma Plan
Author: Candace Calvert
Number of pages: 399
Publisher: Tyndale House
Candace Calvert is a former ER nurse who believes that love, laughter, and faith are the best medicines. She got her inspiration for writing Trauma Plan from a debilitating injury she experienced herself! Though her books are about hope and faith, Candice only came to know God after the triple whammy that changed her life: “A painful and unexpected divorce, the Northern California floods of 1997, and an equestrian accident that left her with fractured ribs, a bleeding lung, broken back, neck fractures and a spinal cord injury" (much like Riley in the novel). She’ll tell you that God took drastic measures to get her attention. She is a wife, mother and proud grandmother living in Northern California.
Tyndale House Publishers kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review, neither did this review lead to any personal gain, other than the joy of being part of the Tyndale Blog Network.