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Publisher's Summary

A novel of searing emotional truth, told with the relentless pull of a thriller, from the award-winning creator of Offspring

Paula is a dedicated suburban GP who is devastated by the murder of a friend and her children by their estranged husband and father. Stacey and the children had been staying with her after fleeing his control, and Paula is haunted by the thought that she couldn't protect them when they most needed it. How had she missed the warning signs? How had she failed to keep them safe? 

Not long after, a patient with suspicious injuries brings her anxious young son into Paula's surgery. The woman admits that her husband hurts her, but she's terrified to leave for fear of escalating the violence and defeated by the consistent failures of the law to help her. 

Can Paula go against everything she believes to make sure one woman is saved, one child spared? She isn't motivated by revenge. She's desperately trying to prevent a tragedy.... 

A riveting, provocative novel about women's fury, traumatic grief, new love, deep friendship and the preciousness of life, The Family Doctor asks the questions: should you cling to faith in a flawed system, or take control the only way you can? Can a good person justify taking a life to save a life? 

©2021 Debra Oswald (P)2021 W F Howes

Critic Reviews

"The Family Doctor is a compelling thriller - fast-paced, gripping and frightening. But is more than that because it is a story that draws desperately needed attention to domestic abuse in this country, to institutional indifference, to the devaluing of women's lives. The Family Doctor is a cry for change." (Sofie Laguna, Miles Franklin Award-winning author of The Eye of the Sheep and Infinite Splendours)

"Brilliant. So compelling on so many levels." (Chris Hammer, author of Scrublands)

"Debra Oswald is always deft at capturing the nuances of female friendship and romantic attraction, but this time she brings them to a pitch of pulse-racing intensity. Delving into the dark world of domestic violence and society's abject failure to protect those most vulnerable, she has produced a gripping thriller, brimming with heart and intellect." (Geraldine Brooks, author of The Secret Chord)

What listeners say about The Family Doctor

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyed!

A great book about prevalent issues in today’s society: domestic violence and mental illness.
I enjoyed the narrative, despite finding it a little slow paced. Audio performance was spot on!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

amazing

the most satisfying novel I've listened to, a spell is wrapped around the listener of a possible alternate reality where justice is wreaked upon the wicked instead of the current reality where humiliation is wrought upon victim

1 person found this helpful

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A must read!

So heart wrenching and raw in moments and funny and familiar in others. A must read for everyone about a topic that need the light shon bright on it - domestic violence!

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Fictional story based on distressingly true facts

A well woven tale dealing with domestic violence, showing the effects on those surrounding victims. A sobering narrative of the DV that continues unabated in our communities.

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Pretty good

Good and easy read/listen but if you like very plausible plots this probably isn’t for you. Other than that it was very good. Great narration Angelico and character construction by Oswald.

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Gripping, important subject and surprising

Excellent narrator, brilliant and emotive storyline, couldn’t stop listening. Whilst a work of fiction, it easily could be real.

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truely awful

narrator could not get the emphasis correct and her imitation male voice was unbearable
the story was laboured and long. Every thought and nuance had to be explained with nothing left to the audience's intelligence

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Great Book and topic is vitally important

Well written, narrative was excellent and the story line was captivating.

All and any exposure of Domestic Violence to the public is a good thing.

One review I read suggested reading Jess Hill's book 'See what you made me do'' if interested in Domestic Violence.
Well, yes, I've read Jess's book too, and its a well researched, written book and the documentary of the same name, on SBS demand is a must, and it definitely should be out in the public sphere.
Police, doctors and judicial system should be educated about this very misunderstood topic.

However, The Family Doctor is fiction, based on a social issue of our time, and shouldn't be compared to 'See What you made me do' by Jess Hill

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  • Dee
  • 21-04-2021

Disappointing

Ok I finished it but only to find out how it would reach the predictable end. I expected a more serious consideration of the moral issues at play. Instead I could tell which recent court cases the author used as inspiration.
If you’re interested read Jess Hill’s book instead.

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