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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Lance Fogan has written an insightful medical drama novel called Dings, revolving around a mother named Sandra Golden whose son, Conner, has a grand mal seizure at the onset of the book. Conner has no diagnosis of anything that would trigger a seizure and Sandra and Sam, Conner's dad, are relieved when they are told that Conner's scans and tests have come back with nothing to indicate abnormalities that could lead to the seizure. The relief is short-lived as answers are in short supply. Fogan backtracks the story to lay the foundation for readers of all that Conner and Sandra have been through before the grand mal. Sam is a war veteran and Sandra is pulled in two directions, between Sam's post-traumatic stress disorder that has dangerously weakened the marriage and Conner falling behind in school.
An ally can come in different forms and it is a wonderful moment in Lance Fogan's novel Dings when one materializes in the form of neurologist Dr. O'Rourke. Dings is a book on the extreme difficulties in obtaining a legitimate diagnosis and even though Conner is the little boy with undiagnosed epilepsy, this is Sandra's story. Medical stories are among my favorites but I am frequently put off by authors throwing medical professionals under the bus. The reality is more complex than doctors and psychologists fobbing off a patient and because Dings is written by a neurologist, the trope of one mother against an unbelieving world is mercifully avoided. Sandra is a force who feels organically human, and is every inch the mother, advocate and carer. An unforgettable novel.