The Doctor and the Diva: A Novel

The Doctor and the Diva: A Novel

by Adrienne McDonnell
3.2 28

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Overview

The Doctor and the Diva: A Novel by Adrienne McDonnell

Inspired by a true story—a breathtaking novel of romantic obsession, longing, and one woman's choice between motherhood and her operatic career calling

It is 1903, and Erika von Kessler has struggled for years to become pregnant. Resigned to childlessness, Erika—a talented opera singer and the wife of a prominent Boston businessman—secretly plans to move to Italy to pursue her musical career. The charismatic Doctor Ravell is a rising fertility specialist. When Erika becomes his patient, he is mesmerized by her elegance and extraordinary voice—and finds himself taking an impetuous risk that could ruin them both.

Stunningly realized and inspired by Adrienne McDonnell’s own family history, The Doctor and the Diva moves from snowy Boston to the tropical forests of the Caribbean to the gilded balconies of Florence.  It is searing historical fiction—a tale of opera, the indomitable power of romantic obsession, and a woman’s irreconcilable desires as she is forced to choose between the child she has always yearned for and the artistic career she cannot live without.  Fans of Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto and Nancy Horan’s Loving Frank will be moved by this novel’s bittersweet beauty.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143119302
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/25/2011
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 874,907
Product dimensions: 5.54(w) x 8.46(h) x 0.94(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Adrienne McDonnell has taught literature and fiction writing at the University of California, Berkeley. The Doctor and the Diva is based in part on the true story of her son’s great-great grandmother. McDonnell was inspired by hundreds of pages of family letters and memories of elderly relatives, long haunted by the story. Chosen by the American Booksellers Association as an Indie Next Notable Book, rights to the The Doctor and the Diva have sold in ten countries. McDonnell lives near San Francisco. The Doctor and the Diva is her first novel.

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The Doctor and the Diva 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great read - such an amazing story. It is so well written. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it!!
StacieRosePittard More than 1 year ago
I expected a little more than I got from this book. Overall the story was decent if you're looking for a good drama. The love triangles and turn of events were extremely unique, though I felt the story get a little slow in some areas. I was looking forward to learning more about the history of obstetrics. The original description of the novel made it seem like that would be the main focus of the story. Instead there was only a little bit of obstetric history, and a great deal more about the "diva's" story (which was less interesting in my opinion). Regardless of whether or not you finish the book once you start, my advice is to at least read the historical note in the back. Those last couple of pages were the most interesting, even if they were not part of the story. Overall, I'm not sorry I read the book. I did enjoy the time I spent with it, even if it wasn't what I expected.
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Redmary More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the story, but didn't like the ending. I am glad I read it, but the end fizzled for me. Check it out, maybe it was just me!
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Margaret Jessop More than 1 year ago
Such a beautiful book. Just sucks you in.
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BJJNY More than 1 year ago
The author has done extensive research on the places, era and characters in this fascinating tale of her first husband's ancestors. The doctor is renowned for his successful fertility treatments. Determined that they will have a family, the diva's husband seeks the doctors help when it becomes evident that there is a problem.Unforeseen events unfold as a result.Shocking decisions are made. The reader is taken on an emotional and an actual journey as the characters pursue their desires from Boston to Trinidad, Florence and Egypt. This is an engrossing read. Highly recommended for book clubs.
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NYLiz More than 1 year ago
This book was a great read! From the very beginning, it pulled you in with a mouth dropping scandal that I shouted out loud as I read it, "OH MY GOD". The Doctor & the Diva is everything it promises to be, and when you learn of the research that went into it, it pulls you in even more. The two things that would have made me give a better rating: -Spicier love scenes. I felt this was a romantic tale, and I wanted to be drawn in more to the fantasy aspect of it. -At times I felt there were filler scenes that were not necessary, and it dragged on a little. Over all, it was a great debut book!
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