PCHA’s Jennifer Weiner had the great opportunity to receive an advanced copy of Water in May, a Young Adult novel by former Pediatric Cardiologist Ismée Williams. Read on as Jennifer shares her thoughts on the story.
Despite being the number one birth defect, CHD is little known in mainstream society (we’ll get there!), so it’s a special experience when we meet characters who have walked in our world in the books we read. In Water in May we meet Mari, a fifteen year old girl who has gone through life feeling unloved, unwanted. When she learns she is pregnant, she believes her baby is her chance for a real family. But when doctors discover her baby has a congenital heart defect, that family is jeopardized.
As a reader, I loved the vivid world created by author Ismée Williams, the dynamic characters, their distinct personalities, and the fierce bond between Mari and her friends.
As a patient, I related especially to Mari’s experience with Dr. Love, her baby’s cardiologist. Doc, as she often calls him, is compassionate. His concern for Mari is sincere and goes beyond her baby’s diagnosis. Doc does not underestimate Mari. The respect he shows her and his straight forward approach creates a trust between the two, allowing for a sense of security, when nothing is certain. (If you’re lucky, like me, a certain doctor crossed your mind just now.) Mari and Doc’s relationship demonstrates just how important those with us on this CHD journey become to us and how we can rely on each other, when we don’t know where else to turn.
We may all come from different backgrounds and face different obstacles, but Water in May shows us the unwavering strength we can all find through love.
You can get your copy of Water in May on Amazon.
Jennifer is a graduate of DePaul University, with a degree in Elementary Education and an MA in English and Creative Writing from SNHU. She is a 35 year old adult congenital heart patient, born with Truncus Arteriosus, has had two repair surgeries, and is an ICD recipient. Jennifer volunteers for the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association, both nationally and locally, managing the PCHA Blog and IL Chapter Communications. She also serves on the steering committee of Chicagoland Cardiac Connections, an organization that provides support and resources for patients with cardiac devices, based out of Lurie Children’s Chicago.