With Every Breathe is set prior to the turn of the century. Dr. Trevor McDonough (a.k.a. Kendall) is tirelessly working to find a cure for tuberculosis. This was a disease that affected the lungs and had become a major cause of death in America.
He seeks the help of statistician Kate Livingston. Surprised that the 'awful' Trevor McDonough would seek her out, she agrees to work with him despite her reservations. Trevor and Kate have a history together. Both attended the same school and were academic rivals. Years prior, Trevor beat her in a scholarship for Harvard and Kate has resented him since then.
Can Trevor and Kate survive this disease, look past old secrets and danger to find a life together?
Although I liked Trevor and Kate's banter, I felt that they were both somewhat childish in their dealings with one another. Below is one of many 'childish' examples.
"Kate's eyes narrowed as she looked around the ward, then back at him. "You're paying for all of this? Out of your own pocket?"
"Yes." After all, some good ought to come of the fortune that had been dumped on his lap.
Kate's mouth thinned, and she looked ready to snap. "I thought you said you were poor, that you needed the money." (Camden, 61).
At first, Trevor's sullen and serious personality was a turn off and then once the author began peeling back the layers, you realize why he is the way he is. After I understood this, I grew to like him a little more. In order for him to do his job, he has to remain objective. Getting too attached to patients would be too draining emotionally. Because Trevor is so focused on finding a cure for tuberculosis he tends to sometimes forget social graces.
By contrast, Kate is the opposite of Trevor. While both Kate and Trevor are hard workers, Kate tends to wear her heart on her sleeve more when dealing with patients at the hospital. The patients weren't just numbers to her. She genuinely cared about them. One of my favorite moments in the book is when she starts reading books aloud to the patients. I really liked how passionate Kate was about issues and things that she believed in.
One of the issues with the book that I had was Kate's fear of death. Losing her younger brothers to illness and her husband to an accident left her fearing death and the unknown. Yes, there's a certain fear I believe that people have, but in Kate's case it almost crippled her in her relations with others, particularly, her family and Trevor. I do like that the author resolves this issue though and Kate sees her fear of death as not trusting in God.
Despite the fact that I didn't like that the two main characters 'childish" dealings with one anther, this did not detract me from wanting to read more books by Ms. Camden and I applaud her for taking on a serious topic of disease. I could tell that Ms Camden had done her research for this book and her writing is engaging and keeps you wanting to read more.