Thursday Afternoons by Tracey Richardson is an absolutely wonderful novel. This is a lovely and tender romance, but it also tells a very serious and real story about the health care system in Canada.
The two main characters, Amy and Ellis, have met online through a dating app, and have decided to meet each other every Thursday afternoon in a hotel in Windsor for sex. Both women have had bad experiences with relationships in their past, and neither wants to start an emotion filled relationship now. Things work out very well for several weeks. The sex is fabulous, and both try to keep their real lives separate from each other. All that ends, though when their real life work collides. Amy is the head surgeon in a community hospital. When she finds out her hospital is being audited to try and cut costs, she becomes concerned. Then she finds out the auditor is Ellis. This not only ends their Thursday afternoons, it could end what was starting to become more than just sex between them. Not only could her hospital be hurt by the audit, two hearts could be hurt as well.
This is a beautiful romance between the two main characters, but it is much more than that. The story itself covers a very serious conversation about the availability and equality of the healthcare system in Canada. Don’t get me wrong. I think healthcare for all is a wonderful thing, but in reality it is hard to make sure it works for everyone, as this story shows. My own mother-in-law had to be flown far from home to have surgery when she had a heart attack several years ago. She was well taken care of and fully recovered, but it was hard for her and for us being so far away from home and family. So I understand the challenges faced by those with an unequal health care system, as the author demonstrates in this novel.
The book flows well, and kept my interest throughout, especially since the subject matter is so dear to me. The characters are well-developed and easy to connect with. This novel is definitely one of my favorites. I really loved this book.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bella Books for an honest review.