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More Than It Hurts You    by Darin Strauss order for
More Than It Hurts You
by Darin Strauss
Order:  USA  Can
Plume, 2009 (2008)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Dori and Josh Goldin are living the dream. They are happily married, have a beautiful home in Long Island, New York, and an adorable eight month old son, Zack. Josh is a successful businessman working in television advertising, and Dori, a phlebotomist, is now a stay at home mom.

One day Josh receives a call from Dori telling him Zack is seriously ill and is being treated at the local hospital. Dr. Darlene Stokes, an African-American single mother, is the attending physician. Something about Zack's symptoms has Dr. Stokes questioning her own ability, but she suspects Dori has something to do with Zack's condition. Dr. Stokes believes Dori is suffering from Munchausen by proxy, where a mother intentionally harms her child, for attention.

Dr. Stokes immediately calls in the Child Protection Services and the Goldins seek the services of a lawyer. The Goldins claim Dr.Stokes is a racist and does not like them because they are Jewish. The CPS investigates the Goldin home, looking for clues, and they observe how Zack interacts with Dori. Soon the Goldins are doing their own investigation on Dr. Stokes. They discover that her drug dealing father is living in her home with her young son, and she has placed him in a janitorial job at the hospital where he has access to drugs.

As the Goldins go to court to fight for their son, Dr. Stokes is battling her own personal war. Her father, whom she has never known, has come into her life after thirty-two years and wants to build a relationship with his daughter and grandson. Despite warnings from her mother, Darlene opens her heart and her home to a man she doesn't know. Josh, on the other hand, questions how well he really knows his own wife.

More Than It Hurts You is a chilling story of a mother's love gone bad. It touches on race, corporate greed, and a family's threat from within. Munchausen's is common in the US and the UK. It only happens in rich countries. It is a disease of luxury and idle hands.

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