The Open Heart Club

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 21 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

The text is all jacked up on this one! Random page breaks, the words are all cut off and it’s very disorienting while trying to read. The story fell flat so it unfortunately didn’t make up for it either. I love learning about the heart having my own heart complications yet this didn’t do it for me.
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I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.   Thank you NetGalley!

This book is unique in that it's not just a memoir.  it includes history, information, and more. 
This book will definitely be of interest for CHD patients and their families.
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NOTE: I received a free Advance Reader's Copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

If there was ever a target audience for this book, it was me -- I also was born with a congenital heart defect, and as I read the book I realized that the author and I have seen several of the same doctors and practitioners.  Anyone who is a CHD patient will be interested in reading this book - which is part memoir of the author's own experience as a heart patient and part history of pediatric cardiology, the development of open heart surgery and the development of the practice area of adult congenital cardiology.  Brownstein's defect is different than mine so much of the focus was on the surgeries and procedures specific to his defect (tetralogy of fallot) and I wish there had been more about the history of treatments for other defects.  But regardless, it was fascinating to learn about the subject and also a little frightening to read about Brownstein's experience with being shocked by his ICD, as someone with an ICD herself. It was also great to read his description of our cardiologist - it was spot on! 

 I do wish there had been some type of timeline included as a reference -- since the book goes back and forth between the history and the memoir, it would be nice to have a 1-page summary or timeline illustrating the advancements that took place from 1900s-2018, by which physicians and where they were located.  

Though this book will naturally be of interest to CHD patients, I hope it reaches a much broader audience.  Anyone interested in history, cardiology, medicine, surgery or memoirs  - or just interested in a look into the life story of a "regular person" who in this case happens to have been born with heart defect  - should read this book.  Brownstein does an excellent job in one of the closing chapters discussing how this could be any of us, how any healthy person is really just one diagnosis away from sickness and how as a society we need to realize this and develop healthcare (really, sickcare) accordingly.
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