The cover of Better to Trust

Better to Trust

Heather Israel Frimmer, MD ’00

In her second novel, Frimmer—a radiologist based in Connecticut—follows a teacher in her late 30s named Alison, who suffers a brain bleed requiring emergency surgery. The operation is performed by her brother-in-law, Grant, a neurosurgeon—and although she survives, she faces daunting physical deficits and a difficult recovery. When another patient with a similar condition accuses Grant of malpractice and it comes to light that the surgeon is addicted to prescription painkillers, it raises the possibility that Alison’s challenges may be due to his negligence—a fraught situation given that he’s her sister’s husband. Meanwhile, Alison is re-evaluating her own marriage in light of both her medical crisis and her affair with another woman. Kirkus praises the novel as a “thoughtful and multifaceted tale of recuperation and reinvention.” Frimmer’s previous effort, Bedside Manners, also involves medical themes: it’s about the relationship between a young surgical intern and her mother, who’s diagnosed with breast cancer.

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