Ruth Weissberger's first novel is a pleasant surprise, with an engaging first-person narrative that rolls along smoothly.
Dr. Nora Sternberg works at Lafayette Medical Center in New York, where her great-aunt Selma worked also as a nurse. When Aunt Selma breaks her hip, she is brought at Lafayette for surgery. Much to Nora's bafflement, Aunt Selma insists that she must be transferred to another hospital for treatment or she will die.
Everyone is sure that she is just delirious from drugs and she is wheeled into surgery
- immediately after which Aunt Selma dies mysteriously. Nora and her family of aunts, uncles, and cousins have to sort out Aunt Selma's belongings, and there Nora finds a mysterious list of
names that turn out to be nicknames for former doctors and nurses who worked previously at Lafayette. Some of them have
also died mysteriously right after surgery, and Nora becomes convinced that the rest are in danger
- and that someone connected to her workplace is killing them.
Nora's best friends, Jessica and Celine, have their own problems, too, but are eager to help.
Along the way, Nora also finds out a few startling things about her own family.
The setting for The Cure for Remembering is the medical world: stressed nurses, friendly or arrogant doctors, and the many patients. This feels authentic, and so it should; Ms. Weissberger is a doctor herself and no doubt very familiar with that world. Nora's tightly-knit family is the other world
through which she moves. Her own husband, Brad, is absent because he is directing a play in Norway.
The characters ring true to life, but unfortunately none of them are particularly memorable. Celine and her husband are perhaps the most three-dimensional because of their problems and the way Nora tries to avoid getting mixed up in them.
While the writing is smooth, it also wanders a little instead of staying tightly within the confines of the plot. In this case, it is mostly a good thing,
allowing the characters room to develop. There is some medical jargon in the book but it is not necessary to
know it to follow the plot.