Dr. Maggie Claymore is a leading neonatologist at a bustling Boston hospital. She works with the smallest and sickest patients: premature babies so ill that other doctors might give up on them. Maggie is fiercely devoted, despite the ethical conundrums that arise daily on the highest-tech edge of medicine -- and in spite of colleagues who feel she often risks too much. Nearly forty, happily married but childless by default, and supremely confident, Maggie knows her exact place in the world. She's the kind of woman who always makes a strong impression, for better or for worse.
Maggie's orderly life begins to unravel when she gets an anonymous note calling her ethics and reputation into question. At first she is able to ignore the increasingly virulent letters, but when her accuser goes public -- posting hate-filled warning posters around the hospital implicating her in a child's death -- Maggie finds herself mired in a personal and professional hell. With everything that she has and everything that she is thrown into doubt, Maggie must fight for herself even as she fights to keep her tiny patients breathing.
The Mystery of Breathing is not only an absorbing page-turner, but also a poignant examination of a woman struggling to maintain her hard-fought identity. Maggie's metamorphosis from fearful to indignant to self-doubting is complex and viscerally powerful. As gossip and innuendo overwhelm her workplace, Maggie's paranoia grows, and all the while lives hang in the balance.
About Perri Klass
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Published February 2, 2004
by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction.