The Family Doctor Discussion

About the book:

Paula is a dedicated suburban GP, who is devastated by the murder of a friend and her children by their estranged husband and father. Stacey and the children had been staying with her after fleeing his control, and Paula is haunted by the thought that she couldn’t protect them when they most needed it. How had she missed the warning signs? How had she failed to keep them safe?

Not long after, a patient with suspicious injuries brings her anxious young son into Paula’s surgery. The woman admits that her husband hurts her, but she’s terrified to leave for fear of escalating the violence, and defeated by the consistent failures of the law to help her.

Can Paula go against everything she believes to make sure one woman is saved, one child spared? She isn’t motivated by revenge. She’s desperately trying to prevent a tragedy . . .

A riveting, provocative novel about women’s fury, traumatic grief, new love, deep friendship, and the preciousness of life, The Family Doctor asks the questions: Should you cling to faith in a flawed system, or take control the only way you can? Can a good person justify taking a life to save a life?

Pageturners August Discussion:

Pageturners had lots to say about this book at the Daytime August Discussion and comments included: “Paula is passionate about looking after people, unrealistic – experienced trauma and goes back out being a doctor, characteristic of Debra Oswald and her writing – deceptively intelligently written – just on the edge of fiction, thoughtful and insightful, absorb the message, a balance of good men and bad, first third to half ingenious, towards the end, falls down a bit, spiraled towards the end, loved the ending, easy read, on balance a great read, full “beach read”, pick a concerning issue, ending a cop out, Anita character appropriate, stayed with me, men painted as particularly bad, no impression that she regrets or required justice, encouraged to read her other books, smart to start with murder, and I’m encouraged to read her other books.”

And here are some more Discussion Points to get you thinking:

Debra’s style of writing – easy to read? and comparison to her other books?

Was the story was realistic or unrealistic?

Was Dr Paula believable especially returning to work after the trauma she had witnessed?

The portrayal of men- balanced or not?

Did you enjoy the first half better than the second half ?

Discuss the relationship between the 3 friends?

How did you feel about the friend’s reaction to Paula’s “activities” ?

Was Paula right or wrong to do what she did?

Did Paula have any remorse or guilt?

What did you think of the ending? Was it unexpected or predictable?

Will it encourage conversation about domestic violence?

Next Pageturners:

Please note the next Pageturners discussion planned for Wednesday 8th September has been cancelled due to the ongoing NSW regional Stay-at-Home NSW Public Health Orders and closure of public libraries.

We hope we can return to meeting in Orange City Library soon.

The October book for discussion will be a classic read – Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence. We have ordered extra copies of this book and if you reserve it through Orange City Library, we will be able to make contactless home deliveries in the Orange area while the Stay-at-Home are in place. Happy reading.

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