I picked Serenity by Harry Kraus, M. D., out of the clearance section of Christianbook.com for a couple of reasons: I have a little great-niece named Serenity, and I thought her mother (my niece) and grandmother (my sister) would get a kick out of a book with her name; and it’s set in North Carolina, and I love books set in the Carolinas, having lived in SC for 26 years. It turned out to be a really good, keep-the-pages-turning book!
It’s a little confusing at first because it is obvious that someone is impersonating a doctor, but the names of the two men are similar and it was hard to keep them straight initially, but after a while it doesn’t matter because the names are then referring to the same man. By the time they’re referring to two different men again, the reader has them straight.
Andy comes into the sleepy seaside town of Serenity, NC, impersonating Dr. Adam Tyson. We’re not sure why he is impersonating the doctor at first, but he chose Serenity because it was supposed to be an easy practice, primarily a tourist town, with major cases being sent elsewhere. But his first day on the job he is slammed with a number of challenging cases and quickly earns a reputation as a kind and excellent doctor.
Beth Carlson is the new director of nursing, having come to Serenity for a fresh start with her teen son. They’re living with her father, who has advancing dementia but is not so far gone that he can’t live at home.
Fairly soon it’s apparent that Dr. Tyson isn’t the only one with whom things aren’t as they seem as strange things start happening around town. I’d like to tell you more of the story — but I don’t want to spoil it for you.
Author Harry Kraus is an M.D. himself, so the technical areas of the story ring true, yet they’re not so technical that we average readers can’t follow along. He’s also an excellent story-teller, unfolding just enough of each character’s situation along the way to reveal more interesting information, yet not enough to give away what’s going on too soon, while weaving an underlying theme of identity throughout, especially one’s identity in Christ.
I’m so glad I came across this book, and I plan to look up more of Harry Kraus’s books as well.
(This review will also be linked to Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books.)