Dr. Charlotte Reese works in the intensive care unit of Seattle’s Beacon Hospital, tending to patients with the most life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Her job is to battle death—to monitor erratic heartbeats, worry over low oxygen levels, defend against infection and demise.
One night a Jane Doe is transferred to her care from a rural hospital on the Olympic Peninsula. This unidentified patient remains unconscious, the victim of a hit and run. As Charlotte and her team struggle to stabilize her, the police search for the driver who fled the scene.
Days pass, Jane’s condition worsens, and her identity remains a mystery. As Charlotte finds herself making increasingly complicated medical decisions that will tie her forever to Jane’s fate, her usual professional distance evaporates. She’s plagued by questions: Who is Jane Doe? Why will no one claim her? Who should decide her fate if she doesn’t regain consciousness—and when?
Perhaps most troubling, Charlotte wonders if a life locked in a coma is a life worth living.
Enlisting the help of her boyfriend, Eric, a science journalist, Charlotte impulsively sets out to uncover Jane Doe’s past. But the closer they get to the truth, the more their relationship is put to the test. It is only when they open their hearts to their own feelings toward each other—and toward life itself—that Charlotte and Eric will unlock Jane Doe’s shocking secret, and prepare themselves for a miracle.
Filled with intricate medical detail and set in the breathtaking Pacific Northwest, Gemini is a riveting and heartbreaking novel of moral complexity and emotional depth.
GEMINI: A Novel by Carol Cassella
Reading Group Guide
When an unidentified Jane Doe, the victim of a hit-and-run, arrives in Dr. Charlotte Reese’s intensive care unit, she brings with her mysteries—both medical and personal. As Charlotte cares for Jane, she becomes increasingly caught up in the questions of her patient’s identity and what led to her accident. Why has no one stepped forward to claim Jane? What will happen if she doesn’t wake up? When Charlotte’s search for answers reveals links between Charlotte and her patient, the repercussions will forever change her life and her understanding of what love can make possible.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. Why does Charlotte feel such a strong sense of responsibility for Jane Doe? How does she balance her protective feelings for Jane with her practical understanding of Jane’s prognosis?
2. From the moment she first sees Bo, Raney is acutely aware of the differences in their circumstances. How does her sensitivity about her background affect their relationship over the years? In what ways see more