If You Knew Her

If You Knew Her

A Novel

Book - 2018
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"When young, beautiful Cassie Jensen arrives at the intensive care ward of St. Catherine's hospital after being struck by a hit-and-run driver while out walking her dog, chief nurse Alice Marlowe thinks she looks familiar. She starts obsessively digging deeper into Cassie's relationships, only to discover a secret that her patient has been keeping from everyone, including her devoted husband and family. Frank, a patient on the same ward who has locked-in syndrome, can hear and see everything around him but cannot speak. Soon he comes to understand that Cassie's life is still in danger. While the police continue to look for clues, Frank knows the truth, but he's unable to communicate it. As Frank's resolve deepens, and Alice puts her own career on the line in her single-minded search for answers, the reader will get closer and closer to the truth of who Cassie Jensen was, and why she was out on the road that fateful night"--Dust jacket flap.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2018]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ℗♭2018
ISBN: 9780062834041
Characteristics: 373, 9 pages ; 24 cm


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Feb 07, 2020

An excellent, although tragic story. Elgar created real-life personalities in this psych thriller - not a nail-biter; however I was carried along to the bitter-sweet end. Would recommend it. A well-written first novel.

Feb 06, 2019

Although this thriller is not the nail-biting type, it does include suspense and enough plot twists to keep you guessing until the end. Written from a three person perspective, the author alternates in a clever way between Alice, the main protagonist, and the two patients she is responsible for at Kate’s hospital, ward 9B. Each secondary character, at some point or another, could easily be the guilty party in this tale of love, trust, mistrust, love l’ost and disappointment.

Jun 21, 2018

I read the cover blurb on the back cover of this book to refresh my memory re: the synopsis…unfortunately, the WPL’s UPC sticker covered some of the vital information on the book’s back cover. I tried to fill in the blanks and came up with my guess about one of the main character’s name, profession and the main plot.
After the prologue (the incident leading up to the present), I began reading chapter 1 which introduces us to the main character, last name Marlowe, who sits in a visitor’s chair talking to a patient (Frank) who is non-responsive (she calls it “locked down syndrome”). His breathing is controlled by a respirator attached to his tracheotomy. Although his eyes are open at times, all the neuro tests show that there is no cognitive brain activity, therefore his attending Dr. has diagnosed him as being in a permanent vegetative state (PVS) which is not synonymous with locked down syndrome.
I assumed that the main character was a “Dr.” Marlowe, a psychiatrist, because the sticker covered this up, on the back of the book. I assumed Dr. Marlowe was tying to conduct talk therapy on Frank, who was unresponsive. I could not understand why a shrink would sit down with a coma patient, then proceed to tell him all about her personal family life—what she did over her Christmas holidays and her interactions with her family, etc. I was not sure what “locked down syndrome” was, so I assumed that a patient with locked down syndrome, given time, may eventually respond (become “unlocked”) with talk therapy (the therapist doing all the talking).
As I read further, I realized that “Marlowe” was not a psychiatrist, she was in fact, Alice Marlowe, the nurse caring for Frank. Finally, I realized that my assumptions (due to having to “fill-in-the-blanks” where the plot description was covered up by the library’s UPC code) were so off target, I had to read the book from the beginning, now with factual knowledge of the characters’ names and their jobs/roles/relationships.
This was a first novel for Emily Elgar, and it was an interesting story, difficult to guess who caused the accident that landed “Cassie” in a coma in the hospital. The author had a very realistic grasp of the nursing profession, the daily life of a nurse on a long-term care ward, as well as complications resulting from the “belief in what appears to be true” compared to the reality of “what is really true.”
The lesson I learned from the first moment I read the cover blurb, then began reading the story, was that the assumptions that I made skewed my entire expectations of the story. I realized I could not have farther off the mark if I tried. This is a prime example of making the mistake of “Judging a book by its’ cover” (literally).

May 17, 2018

I loved this book! A real page-turner! Looking forward to more from this amazing author!!

May 03, 2018

Interesting story of two people in a special ward of the hospital and the nurse that is taking care of them. Cassie is in a coma and there is a question as to what exactly happened to her and Frank the victim of a stroke brought on by his drinking and bad habits in life. Their lives intersect in this hospital where care is provide to them by April who has her own loses in her life. The story is told by the three of them. There is mystery, love and love lost and the stories of three different families. Very good debut novel. Well done.

Apr 17, 2018

It is hard to believe this is the author's first book. She writes with the confidence and talent you would expect from someone who has been writing bestsellers for years.

Feb 18, 2018

Suspenseful - quite a few twists and turns


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