Jamie Carver is an inexperienced young woman eager to change her life.
Recently certified in nursing, she’s the new girl working at a facility for the elderly.
When her favorite patient dies, the frail woman leaves her a handwritten recipe book as a final thank you.
Dark secrets of Elizabeth’s life hide between the pages.
Jamie Carver is a new nurse at the hospital. She connects with a patient that nobody else can get along with, and when this patient dies, she leaves Jamie a book of recipes. This is how Ruthann Jagge’s novelette starts. At the end, Jagge has taken us on a journey deep into a dark and brutal world where the monsters are the people, and nobody escapes without severe trauma.
The New Girls’ Patient is the first thing I have read by Ruthann Jagge, but since it is published by D&T Publishing, this is a must read. There are a few times when I look at the 41 page count and think about how there could have been some different ways to tell the story and development the relationships between the characters, but this is a small amount of space for a very big plot. With this juxtapose, there are a few times when the story turns into an info dump (the history of Elizabeth Cree and her husband and the explanation of the ruthlessness of Bart being two examples). I would have also loved a scene between Elizabeth and Jamie that expressed the relationship that they had. We come in when Jamie shows up for work and she is already dead and gone.
The relationships between health care worker and patient is a real one. Sometimes patients are in the hospital for months at a time (especially since Covid first started), other times they are patients that are frequent flyers that get admitted for the same thing over and over again because they go home and neglect the things that they are supposed to do. There are patients the staff does not like, and of course the feelings can be mutual. But there is always one member of staff that clicks with the difficult patient and they do form a bond. When this type of patient passes away, there is a sense of loss for the whole hospital. Even if the patient was a pain in the ass to everyone, the staff always misses them and wishes they were there to harass them one more time. I have been working in direct patient care for almost ten years, and there are some patients that have passed on that I still think about and bring up to my coworkers. They leave an impression because we try so hard to help them, and the longer they are patients, the closer everyone becomes. This story makes me think about patient and caregiver relationships, and sometimes I hope I made as much of an impact on them as they did on me. Even though this idea does not run deep into this story, I like that this type of relationship is the catalyst for the rest of the novelette.
This is another great release from D&T Publishing. The New Girls’ Patient is brutal, gory, and satisfying, and I hope to read more from Ruthann Jagge and this great press this year.