Contemporary fiction with a spiritual twist:
A compelling exploration of the intricate connections we share with our animal companions and the transformative power of their presence in our lives.
Raising Artemis is a captivating contemporary fiction work spanning 78,000 words, delving into the profound bond between humans and their beloved pets. This heartwarming narrative revolves around a doctor on the brink of emotional collapse, her perceptive feline companion who knows her innermost self, and the extraordinary lessons that animals can impart about humanity itself.
In a world where pets possess the ability to peer into human souls and serve as guardians, Raising Artemis paints a remarkable tale. The story centers on Artemis Elizabeth Nicche, a medical professional whose trajectory is interrupted by a series of panic attacks at Yale New Haven Hospital. This unforeseen crisis exposes her vulnerabilities and triggers a suspension from work, pushing her to confront not only the scars of a pandemic-ridden world but also the haunting remnants of a tragic childhood.
Artemis's complex relationship with her best friend, Mel, further exacerbates her feelings of isolation and anxiety, as her commitment to her profession creates emotional distance. Struggling in her suspended state, Artemis recognizes the emptiness left by her departed cat—a charismatic Birman who uniquely narrates the story. This realization becomes a catalyst for change, leading her to adopt a trio of animals: a kitten and two Labrador retrievers.
United by their unwavering support, this diverse trio becomes Artemis's source of solace and strength. As she navigates her memories and reconciles her past, Artemis finds herself on a journey of self-discovery that uncovers her true purpose. Every twist of fate seems orchestrated, leading Artemis to the profound realization that her life's events are interconnected by design.
Raising Artemis is a plainspoken literary gem crossed between fiction and parable that resonates across a wide spectrum of readers. Fans of anthropomorphic tales, much like those found in A Dog’s Purpose, The Art of Racing in the Rain, and Watership Down, will find themselves enthralled by this narrative. The story taps into a universal love for animals and the stories they inspire, drawing on the statistics that show 68% of U.S. households own pets and approximately 80% of cat and dog owners consider these animals as cherished family members. Through Artemis's journey, this narrative offers a compelling exploration of the intricate connections we share with our animal companions and the transformative power of their presence in our lives.
LUCY, a deceased Birman cat, visits her beloved owner, ARTEMIS, to comfort her during a turbulent time in the woman’s life. Lucy explains to the reader that other animals in the spirit realm connected to Artemis have tasked Lucy with telling this story, sharing the seminal moments in Artemis’s life.
Artemis is a doctor working on the frontlines at Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut as the Covid-19 pandemic rages. Artemis is suffering a string of terrifying panic attacks, and reaching a breaking point, after losing a patient with whom she personally connected. Artemis makes two critical errors, alarming her colleagues and forcing her mentor and Chief, DR. CLIFFORD ANDERSON, to suspend her for two weeks.
Unable to work, Artemis is forced to confront the emotional trauma caused by the pandemic, as it dredges up memories from her tragic childhood that she buried long ago. The strained relationship with her best friend, MEL, due to her workaholic tendencies, compounds her anxiety and isolation.
Artemis blocked out the tragic death of her brother, Jack when they were children. Lucy shares this background with the help of Artemis’s childhood pets, SAM, a black Labrador retriever, and CHARLIE, a rotund Siamese cat.
During Artemis’s suspension, she realizes how empty her life is without animals. She adopts PHOEBE, a Burmese kitten, and two Labrador retrievers, MAGGIE and JESSIE. The three animals interconnect to form a group of compassionate and understanding guardians who rally around Artemis as she explores blurred memories from her childhood.
With the perceptive animals by her side, Artemis processes the memories of her brother’s death. She visits her childhood home and ultimately realizes that her inability to save her brother from dying was the impetus for her to become a doctor.
When Artemis returns to work, she suffers another debilitating panic attack and shares her feelings with her mentor, Dr. Anderson. Artemis is afraid that continuing to practice medicine may kill her. They agree Artemis should take additional time off, and Artemis begins to question whether or not she wants to return to medicine.
Artemis decides to take an extended leave of absence and volunteers at the local animal shelter. There she befriends RACHEL, the manager, and other volunteers as she begins to heal and connect with what makes her truly happy. Not long after, Rachel offers Artemis a job as Executive Director. Artemis accepts, choosing peace over practicing medicine. The animals in Artemis’s life celebrate as she finally settles into her true calling.
Several years later, Artemis has made substantial positive changes at the shelter. Her work has challenges, however, including a fire that burns the structure to the ground. No animals perish, and Artemis uses the devastation as a launchpad to expand the shelter.
On the day of Artemis’s retirement, Phoebe remains the only living pet by her side. Lucy shows Artemis thinking about her legacy and her life, how none of the events of Artemis’s life were by chance. Artemis has led a life of service to animals, as she was always destined to do. During Artemis’s retirement party, the shelter is renamed in her honor. Artemis passes the torch to the younger generation, deciding to return not as an employee but as a volunteer.
Finally, Lucy shows the poignant moment when Artemis dies, as she reunites with her beloved animal companions, her brother Jack, and her parents. At that moment, the culmination of Artemis’s life is laid out before her, showing what animals can teach us about being human.