Elizabeth is a gifted surgeon, but while operating on a young woman with life-threatening blood poisoning, something goes horribly wrong. In the midst of a new scheme to publicly report surgeons' performance, Elizabeth's life is thrown into disarray.
In A Mistake, New Zealand author Carl Shuker conveys in gorgeous, heartbreaking detail the shock of catastrophe and the ways we try to make sense of disaster after the fact ... Shuker’s novel is the fascinating and infuriating story of the way various parties interpret and revise what they witnessed, limning events in telling ways. Shuker’s arresting prose renders the inconceivable breathtaking ... we remain transfixed as a cataclysmic mistake unfolds in real time. We are reminded of why we turn to narrative in the first place—our need to know what happened and our very human, if misguided, compulsion to fashion the messiness into a discernible, knowable story.
New Zealand author Shuker...presents a concise portrayal of the consequences of mistakes that result in the loss of life, along the way displaying knowledge about medical practices and the difficulties facing a woman entering a man’s world. An intriguing account of irresponsibility and its aftermath.
Shuker’s spare narrative leaves substantial room to theorize about Taylor’s emotional life as well as the ultimate assignment of blame for the surgical calamity. Scattered clues to Taylor’s past allow insight into her relationship status, bisexuality, and temperament, but Shuker succeeds in providing a main character whose idiosyncratic self is most fully realized in the operating room and who has only herself to rely upon to survive the repercussions of a mistake. A character study and a morality tale wrapped up in a medical thriller.