Nothing Lasts Forever

Arts | May 14, 2011 | Share

“Nothing Lasts Forever” is yet another masterpiece of Sidney Sheldon – the author who is well-known for his ability to fail the readers in outguessing the conclusion of the story.

It’s the story of three women doctors who decide to give a wholly new beginning to their lives by choosing to work in a county hospital in the city of San Francisco. Their destiny draws them close to each other and they become great bosom friends.

The novel begins with the trial of Dr Paige Taylor in a courtroom of San Francisco in 1995’s spring. She’s accused of illegally euthanizing her patient- Mr. John Cronin. The fact, that he left her with a million dollars in his will, brings her in a bad light making everyone accuse her of murdering him for money. Her case is taken up by a famous, compact, energetic shark- Alan Penn, hired by her deeply loving boyfriend- Jason Curtis. Although, the case seems to be going completely against her, but Jason’s faith in her remains unshaken. As the proceedings of the case take place, more and more suspense is created.

Finally, the judge gives another date for the trial.

There begins another chapter of the novel which opens the gateways to Dr Taylor’s past life to the curiously-glued readers followed by the other chapters which give a clear image of the whole scenario by introducing the other doctors too working at the Embarcadero Hospital.

According to the author, there are only three classes of human beings- men, women, and women-physicians. In the novel, there’re only three women doctors at the hospital. Besides Dr Taylor, Dr Kat Hunter and Dr Honey Taft also strive hard to make a place for themselves in the world dominated by male chauvinistic doctors. Dr Hunter, who has been a victim of incestuous rapes by her step father leading to an unwanted teenage pregnancy, swears never to let any man too close again. The only person she calls her family is her brother- Mike Hunter, who lives away from her and seems to be involved into some monkey business. The only time he contacts her is when he badly needs money. Dr Honey Taft enters the field of medicine by sleeping all her way with scores of men to reach the position of a doctor. She wishes to be a nurse to serve the needy but her father and the so-called status of the Tafts never let her take up that profession.

Unexpected happenings or rather accidents are the very essence to this novel. Dr Alfred Turner, the former beau of Paige, ends up their long-distanced relationship by marrying someone else (Karen) leaving Paige extremely-shocked. Kat accepts the challenge to date and ditch the Casanova of the hospital- Dr Ken Mellory. And the whole medical career of Honey is put at stake when her knowledge and abilities as a doctor are begun to be questioned.

Will Dr Taylor save her medical career and mostly importantly, her life in the end? Will Kat’s plan work in her favor? Will Honey finally meet her true love and save her stumbling career? What happens in the successive events is exactly what the whole story all about. The novel races from the life and death of the operation theatres to the tension-packed fireworks of a murder trial in a courtroom. It’s all about the ambitions and fears of healers and killers. It is a story of three young women doctors- their lovers, dreams and their unpredictable destinies.

The novel has broken the linearity of time, action and place as there are layers of stories within stories in the novel. The imagery is very vivid and sensuous. The end of the novel is marked by an epilogue which does justice to all its characters. The name of the novel is aptly-chosen and is the actual message of the story.

Aditi Swami

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