Written on February 12, 2008
Garcia’s Heart, a first novel by neurologist Liam Durcan, deals with issues of medical ethics, memory, and the difficulty of knowing another person’s mind and heart. The narrator is a neurologist attending the war crimes trial of his former mentor, Hernan García. The accused refuses to speak, thus leaving it up to the narrator to sift through his own memories, trying to reconcile his image of the man who had inspired him to study medicine with the actions attributed to him. In the process, the narrator also examines his own life and the choices that led him to apply neuroscience to market research on behalf of a large corporation.
García is a cardiologist and the narrator is a neurologist, so there is some heart vs brain contrast between the two characters; plus the physical heart plays a pivotal role in the plot, making this an appropriate selection for the
“Book A Month Challenge” theme “the heart.”