booklady's Reviews > Walk Me to Midnight

Walk Me to Midnight by Jane St. Clair
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Apr 03, 09

bookshelves: 2009, adventure, crime, fiction, mystery, health, spiritual, theology, religion, philosophy, psychology, education
Read in April, 2009

Dr. Susan Rutledge, a radio call-in psychologist is suddenly shocked by the 'assisted suicide' of her best friend. But is it a suicide, or is it murder? And then again, is any assisted suicide what it purports to be, or is it more correctly labeled, murder? These are some of the questions author, Jane St. Clair, explores in her fast-paced novel, Walk Me to Midnight. I read WMtM in two days and found it unputdownable.

The title of the novel refers to the expression hospice workers use when describing a human being's final hours on this earth, a visual metaphor and an apropos title.

While the book explores many of the issues surrounding the complexities of death and dying, organ donations, comas, final wishes, wills, etc., it is a novel first, last and in between; it is never dull nor depressing, despite the subject matter. Still, readers need to realise it presents all the messiness of people, their fears, confusions, sins, mistakes, and gradual learning--or not--as the case may be.

The strength of Ms. St. Clair’s story is that while she admittedly believes the assisted suicide movement is misdirected as she states in her blog here, she doesn’t bash her readers over their proverbial heads with her beliefs. As a mother of questing and questioning teens, I see the wisdom of the more subtle approach; present the truth but do so in a realistic setting with flawed characters and an intense action-filled plot. I must confess, I could have done without the violence myself, and yet, at the same time it is integral to the story. Death is often violent, and even more so when the human heart isn't pure.

Besides the main story line--the mystery involving Dr. Rutledge--there is also another side plot concerning one of her patients which I found personally very moving. In fact, Ms. St. Clair drops many quiet hints and clues for discerning readers.

Christians reading this looking for a Biblical manifesto that assisted suicide is wrong will be disappointed, as will Catholics seeking answers they already have and know from their own Church. This book isn’t really for them, although I freely admit I learned a lot.* It’s for all the rest of humanity which, for whatever reason, is afraid to trust Bible, Church or any authority other than its own conscience. And yet while these same individuals are afraid to trust authority on one hand, they are still looking to authority (the state) on the other; they want their governments to pass laws which say it’s okay for them to kill themselves when they want to. How ironic!

Excellent book! READ it!

*For example, the author includes a short but fascinating history of the personal tragedy of Stalin which may well have been what tipped the scales in favor of madness and the massacre of over forty million Russian souls.
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message 1: by Bear (new)

Bear Book's in my hands... if my daughter will let me have it first. !!!!!
XOBAR


booklady Hope one of you read it and stop fighting over it! ;) ((hugs))


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