By Ian A. O’Connor
The Wrong Road Home is based on a real person and a true event, but it is a novel. Dr. Desmond Donahue practiced medicine in his native Ireland and in the United States for 20 years without a valid license. As a matter of record, he didn’t graduate from medical school or even high school. He did receive a GED certificate for passing the high school equivalency test from the Chicago public school system. Through an amazingly odd series of events, he worked with top doctors and surgeons before his deception was exposed.
His journey began as a poor boy in Ireland. Often hungry, his family members worked together to barely make ends meet. This shaped the man he was to become, vowing to never be poor again. He set his dreams high and moved where he could find work, always sending some home for the family he left behind.
Donahue either had the best luck or the worst luck as odd opportunities opened up for him at the right time to further his medical knowledge. Friendships were forged that paved the way for the biggest mistake in his life. He falsely obtained the degree he wanted and began practicing medicine. His patients and colleagues had no clue that he was living a lie.
Never getting close enough to anyone, the Doctor kept his secret hidden. He was comfortable and happy, it seemed as though he might live out his life without being exposed as an impostor. But the slightest wind can topple a house of cards, and such a wind blew into Dr. Desmond’s life without warning.
The Wrong Road Home is O’Connor’s fifth book. He has written three novels and two non-fiction books. This makes him the perfect author to write a book of fiction based upon a true story. The descriptions of people and places are colorful and create the perfect settings in all the different countries Dr. Desmond travels and lives in.
Dr. Donahue was so likable I didn’t care what he did by the end of the book. Some doctors I’ve been to with licenses seem to know less than he did. Kudos to O’Conner for making Donahue a well-rounded, compassionate character. Be sure to read the author’s afterword when you finish this highly engaging novel. Per the author, all the names have been changed to protect the innocent and not so innocent.
I highly recommend this book. It was fascinating and entertaining. Because it is based on a true story and a real person it has a depth that some novels lack. Personally, I cannot wait to read Ian A. O’Connor’s other books both fiction and non-fiction.
Copyright © 2016 Laura Hartman
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.