Reading The Anesthesia Game by Rea Nolan Martin was an exciting surprise. Its title refers to a game Sydney plays to help her cope with her many hospitalizations. The many things I loved about it included the characters, the description, the story line, and the interweaving reality with the spirit world. An engaging young girl had a disease, unnamed by mutual agreement of her family, but her condition was dire. Her mother had checked out some time before, unable to handle the stress and grief of her only child’s imminent death. Her father was mostly absent, unable to deal with either of them. Enter Aunt Hannah, who doesn’t exactly have her own life in order, but has a scheme to extricate herself from catastrophic debt through an arrangement to care for Mitsy and Sydney for an extended period. Leaving her own family farm in the hands of her ex-husband, she traipses off to Connecticut to care for her sister and niece. She and Sydney are extremely close and the girl actually says once, “I wish you were my mother.” Unfortunately her mother heard it, which fuels the fire between Hannah and Mitsy.
This book was incredible and will appeal to readers of the Carlos Castenada series about his apprenticeship as a sorcerer, and also those who liked Eat Pray Love. The Anesthesia Game is reminiscent of both these books, and you will fall in love with the characters as they rally around Sydney in hopes of saving her life. Lives are transformed in the process. New relationships are started, and old ones are renewed. Two new lives enter the picture, signifying hope, and one exits, providing a different type of hope. I will be looking for more from Rea Nolan Martin.