All That Real­ly Matters

September 1, 2023

Joe Bosco is a hard-charg­ing trans­plant sur­geon whose ambi­tion knows no bounds. He pur­sues his job with a take no pris­on­ers approach and sav­ing patients is not just his job, or even his pas­sion — it’s his reli­gion.

Joe takes a posi­tion at a pri­vate hos­pi­tal in San Fran­cis­co which pays Joe an exor­bi­tant salary and where the bot­tom line is… the bot­tom line. Joe leaves behind aca­d­e­m­ic med­i­cine, much to the cha­grin of his father — a Ger­man Jew­ish Holo­caust sur­vivor who is a neu­ro­sci­en­tist and Nobel Prize win­ner — and his girl­friend, Kate, who sees Joe turn­ing into a dif­fer­ent man than the one she met in med­ical school.

Dr. Bosco real­izes that the new world he inhab­its is fraught with moral and eth­i­cal trans­gres­sions. The hos­pi­tal blames a cat­a­stroph­ic oper­at­ing room mis­take on Joe, who is left with a career in sham­bles, a girl­friend who wants noth­ing to do with him, and a father who can’t hide his dis­ap­point­ment — lead­ing to a search for his true identity.

Discussion Questions

Ques­tions cour­tesy of David Weill

  1. What inspired you to write a sto­ry about the rise and fall of a top sur­geon, inter­twined with a love story?
  2. Can you share a bit about your own back­ground or expe­ri­ences that influ­enced the themes and char­ac­ters in the book?
  3. The pro­tag­o­nist’s jour­ney involves redemp­tion. What do you hope read­ers take away from his story?
  4. How did you approach bal­anc­ing the med­ical dra­ma with the romance ele­ments in the narrative?
  5. The rela­tion­ship between the main char­ac­ter and his med school girl­friend, at time, seem cen­tral to the sto­ry. What inspired their dynam­ic, and how did you devel­op their connection?
  6. In what ways does the love sto­ry con­tribute to the pro­tag­o­nist’s human­i­ty and growth through­out the book?
  7. With­out giv­ing away too much, can you dis­cuss the piv­otal moments when the main char­ac­ter lets his girl­friend go and when he decides to find her?
  8. How did you nav­i­gate por­tray­ing the pro­tag­o­nist’s flaws and moments of weak­ness, par­tic­u­lar­ly in rela­tion to his roman­tic relationship?
  9. Were there any par­tic­u­lar chal­lenges you faced while writ­ing this sto­ry? How did you over­come them?
  10. What do you hope read­ers remem­ber most about the char­ac­ters and their jour­ney long after fin­ish­ing the book?