J Q Hannah

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Lessons from the Heart Room

J.Q. Hannah

Mill City Press

Trade Paperback

978‑1936780105

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Katherine Collins is a mother of two with one more on the way when she realizes it's time to make a career change. Having spent many years in her current job, she decides to become a physician's assistant, or PA, a position with many of the pressures and responsibilities of a doctor without as much schooling or salary.

Katherine starts out with an excellent plan, detailing the process she will need to follow to achieve her dream. But even the best conceived plan has some bumps on the way. Katherine discovers this as she applies to schools; moves her family several times; graduates; struggles to find an employer who will hire new grads; and faces the myriad challenges of her new job where intolerance, nastiness and backstabbing are often the order of the day. As an additional challenge, she is always extremely nervous when starting new things, which tends to stir up demons born while enduring bullying in school.

This emotionally involving tale will resonate with readers who were taunted and teased in school or who attempted suicide. Katherine struggles with valid demons and perceives multiple personalities within herself, including her inner child (Katie) and her more evolved higher self (Kath). This can get tremendously confusing, as Katherine frequently has conversations with Katie and Kath during conversations with other people. The medical detail can get overwhelming if the reader is not fascinated with the inner workings of the OR.  J.Q. Hannah's novel also could do without the occasional repetition and extraneous information.

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Heather Nordahl Files

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