Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Review: A Final Arc of Sky by Jennifer Culkin

Book Info:
A Final Arc of Sky: A Memoir of Critical Care by Jennifer Culkin
Hardcover: 248 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press (April 1, 2009)
ISBN-13: 9780807072851
Genre: Non-Fiction
Rating: 2.5/5

Buckling herself into the rear of an Agusta A109A, Jennifer Culkin prepares for the moment of lift. The deafening thrum of the helicopter announces the unknown perils and potential havoc that await.

A critical care and emergency flight nurse, Culkin treats patients who are most often in mortal danger. Aboard the Agusta, she is entrusted with the life of a seventeen-year-old pulled from the wreckage of a head-on collision as his father calls out a wrenching plea from below; she cares for a middle-aged man who is bleeding to death internally, remembering the four daughters who have kissed him goodbye, possibly for the last time. It is the arduous and acute struggle to keep her patients alive en route to the hospital that is Jennifer Culkin's most profound duty.

I've always loved medical dramas. ER and House are a couple of my favorites. What I like best about these shows is the suspense of them. Can the doctors and nurses figure out what's wrong and save the patients? I love the glimpses into the medical world and the look at the individual cases. That is what I was hoping to get from A Final Arc of Sky, and unfortunately, it wasn't quite what I was looking for.

I think my biggest problem with the book was that you never really got to know any of the patients. As a flight nurse Culkin didn't spend much time with any of them. You got a little info about what the case was going to be as she got ready for the flight, a little bit about the treatment during the flight, and then the patients were handed off. It kind of left an incomplete picture.

The middle section of the book deals with Culkins parent's medical problems. I have to admit, I didn't feel enough of a connection with Culkin to find this section of the book very interesting. I actually set the book aside for a number of weeks before picking it back up and finishing.

The book ended a little stronger with stories of pilots and nurses lost in crashes of the medical helicopters. Culkin told stories about those lost, and while I liked this section, it seemed a little choppy coming off of her parent's medical problems. A Final Arc of Sky wasn't quite what I hoped for, but it might be more interesting to those in the medical field. 2.5 stars

1 comment:

Zibilee said...

This sounds like a book that could have been extremely good, but didn't have the right execution. I am sorry that it wasn't a favorite for you, but I am really glad I read your review because I am a sucker for these types of books, and now I know I can skip this one. Thanks!