by Lin Wilder
If you follow my personal blog, https://newoldgirl.wordpress.com/ you are aware that I am NOT A FAN of the medical profession and feel great disdain for Big Pharma. This attitude change occurred in the last 4 years and one additional side effect of the trauma of my iatrogenic illness was losing an entire genre of books. I used to read every single medical thriller I could find, and laugh at the memory of my one overnight hospital stay where the book I was reading was by Robin Cook. As a sort of exposure therapy, I decided to delve back into medical fiction and see if I could separate my own trauma from a fiction book. I am so glad I discovered new indie author, Lin Wilder. She was the perfect author to pull me back into my old stomping grounds.
“The Fragrance Shed by a Violet” is not your typical medical thriller. I would probably not even add “thriller” to the descriptor except that most books set in the medical industry do involve mayhem – murder, espionage, the evils of the industry, etc. Wilder has written a book which involves the medical profession, but truly I felt this book was character driven. Yes, Dr. Lindsey McCall is a brilliant researcher employed by a large Texas medical center, but there are so many pieces to this story, it felt more like contemporary fiction involving relationships rather than subterfuge. This, I think, was key for me truly enjoying the work. Wilder presents us strong, driven, intelligent female characters like McCall and investigative reporter Kate Townsend. As the foil to those strong women, we also spend time with Lindsey’s sister, Paula a nurse with a troubled past who proves prominent in the direction Lindsey’s life takes.
As the sister of two alcoholic brothers who passed very early because of their disease, I felt a real connection to the siblings in this book. As a reader, finding connections to characters brings the story to life and Wilder wrote a good story. Wilder pulled me in not only with her writing but with the use of prophetic quotes at the start of each chapter, and the presence of spirituality in the story. This did not read like smack-you-in-the-face Christian fiction, but as in many real lives, faith plays a role for some of her characters. Reading this book was comfortable and enjoyable.
I did read the author bio prior to starting the book and I appreciated throughout my reading the fact that Wilder spent decades employed in the medical field. Somehow, to me, knowing she had real life experience behind her gave a sense of legitimacy to her writing, especially during the parts where research and drug development was explored. It was also quite clear that Lin Wilder is one smart cookie. The novel is very well written, the characters are fleshed out and the story felt complete. This was a great first medical book for me to start with and I highly recommend “The Fragrance Shed by a Violet.”
For the US Map Reading Challenge, this one is set in Texas. Yes, I’ve read another Texas book this year, but it’s a big state so I’m recording this one as well.