AUTHOR: A.J. CRONIN
MAIN CHARACTERS: Andrew Manson, Philip Denny and Christine Barlow.
SUMARY ABOUT THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS IN THE STORY:
In October 1921, Andrew Manson, anidealistic, newly qualified doctor, arrives from Scotland to work as assistant to Doctor Page in the small Welsh mining town of 'Drineffy'. He quickly realizes that Page is an invalid and that he has todo all the work for a meagre wage.
Shocked by the insanitary conditions he finds, he works to improve matters and receives the support of Dr Philip Denny, a cynical semi-alcoholic. On the strength ofthis job, he marries Christine Barlow, a junior school teacher. Christine helps her husband with his research.
Eager to improve the lives of his patients, mainly coal miners, Manson dedicates manyhours to research in his chosen field of lung disease. Seduced by the thought of easy money from wealthy clients rather, than the principles he started out with Manson, becomes involved with pamperedprivate patients and fashionable surgeons and drifts away from his wife.
A patient dies because of a surgeon's ineptitude, and the incident causes Manson to abandon his practice and return to hisformer ways. He and his wife repair their damaged relationship, but Christine is killed in a traffic accident.
It is Denny, now who whisks him off to the Welsh countryside to recover.
Since Manson hadaccused the incompetent surgeon of murder, he is vindictively reported to the General Medical Council for having worked with an American specialist who does not have a medical degree, even though thepatient had been successfully treated at his nature cure clinic.
Despite his lawyer's gloomy prognosis, Manson forcefully justifies his actions during the hearing and is not struck off the medicalregister. He joins Denny and the bacteriologist Dr Hope in opening an integrated, multispecialty practice, then uncommon, in a country town.
MY OPINION ABOUT THE BOOK IS THAT:
The book portrays...