Monday, October 10, 2011

Outcome, a novel: there's more than a hurricane coming - by Barbara Ebel

Outcome is a book that is difficult to place in any given genre, because it touches so many aspects of life and of the human soul. My very first impression is that it reminds me of a book I read, and loved, many years ago, The Human Comedy, by William Saroyan.
The setting is quite different, of course, but the elements of tragedy, and of the ability of the human soul to cope with it are the same.
Here we aren’t facing the World One period, but we have a life-threatening situation all the same, with the hurricane Ivan heading toward Florida, and we see how a place so wonderful that it can be considered a piece of heaven on earth can become a deadly trap in a matter of minutes.
A life is lost, another is in the balance, and in between a small dog, Putt-Putt, fights to understand this sudden subversion of his world and to survive.
And around this central tragedy, which is made of despair and hope, of loss and recovery, a whole universe of characters comes to life. People who otherwise would never have met find their way into each other’s life, and this interaction changes their life forever.
Barbara Ebel proves herself to be not only a skilled physician but also a very skilled author. Her medical insight lends a deeper ring of truth to the parts of the story that unfold between the OR and the ICU of the Good Samaritan Hospital, and her skill as an author is proved by the way she weaves the threads of so many lives throughout the book and to the proper end for each of them. Even for Putt-Putt, who is one of the main characters, never far from the heart of the reader.
Decidedly a good reading, a book hard to put down, fully worth a five star review