*Given an advanced reading copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
The White Coat Diaries by Madi Sinha is a fun mishmash novel that has a healthy dose of romance drama, family drama, and career drama.
Dr. Norah Kapadia is the daughter of a renowned cardiologist who died when she was a child in a car accident. So she wants to live up to his name, but it’s been difficult with her mother still mourning years later struggling with depression and diabetes. Norah’s brother and sister-in-law lay the guilt on her for not helping with her mother. Once she starts her residency, Norah quickly finds herself falling for her supervisor, Ethan. They start going out. Norah is falling hard, and she thinks Ethan is too until she discovers he may or may not be sleeping with another doctor. But when a patient on Norah’s watch dies unexpectedly due to Ethan’s advice, Ethan asks Norah to lie for him. Her feelings for him cloud her judgment. As she constructs the lie, she tries to figure out if Ethan is worth the possible obliteration of her medical career. But more mistakes along the way end up with her making sacrifices she didn’t expect.
The pressure to meet your career goals while being bogged down by family needs feels authentic, especially with Norah’s mother experiencing health issues and Norah being a doctor who helps when she can but can’t be on call 24/7 just for her mother. She has other patients! And she learns the importance of patient ethics as the book shows the stress of residency life and how patients’ well-being can still slip between the cracks when the doctors are not paying attention. While the doctors are worrying about patients, their own well-being is deteriorating, and they stay together all the time which leads to sexual tension. This story shows how hormones can lead to the wrong decisions as Norah, a virgin due to never having time for a social life, is still figuring out what it means to even be in love.
Overall, the novel is a page-turner since Grey’s Anatomy-like medical romances feel rare in the women’s fiction genre. The author is a doctor herself, so the ups and downs Norah is dealing with as she starts her career strikes a chord in the love, family, and friend departments.