Going Under by Sonia Henry: Your Preview Verdict

Going Under by Sonia Henry: Your Preview Verdict

Our lucky Preview readers were able to get their hands on Going Under by Sonia Henry before it was published! Going Under gives a rare insight into the world of a trainee female medic that takes an unflinching look at the reality of being a doctor. It explores the big themes – life, death, power and love. Our Preview readers loved this title! Many readers were shocked and overwhelmed at what they learned about the Australian health system, and were hoping that this book would be a catalyst for a much-needed change. They also appreciated that the story addressed darker aspects of life, but still had a dash of wit and humour.

Read some of their highlights:

‘Once I picked up this book I struggled to put it down. It kept me interested from start to finish. What I loved about the book was it had so many variants to its theme. There was seriousness, tense moments, romance, adversity, and humour in just the right places.’ – Jude, SA, 5 stars

‘Dr. Sonia Henry gives us a hard, honest look at life as a young doctor. Brutally graphic at times about surgery and the indifference of some senior doctors to patients sufferring, it is confronting and shocking. It is also very interesting and insightful, highlighting just how much courage and strength it takes to be a doctor, to cope with the day to day struggles and the big life and death decisions they face. A great story told with realism and heart, it’s gritty and in-your-face. Unputdownable!!’ – Kristy, NSW, 5 stars

‘What a story! I laughed and I cried. I even had to stop reading a few times to compose myself, dry my tears and hug whoever of my family was available. I enjoyed this book, but it did disturb me, knowing it is based on real experiences. It opened my eyes to an issue of which I was not aware. I recommend this to other readers due to its thought provoking insights into the tough world of the medical profession. Doctors are there for us, but who is there for them? A thoroughly enjoyable read, but keep the tissues, and perhaps a hugging buddy, handy.’ – Alice, NSW, 4 stars

‘I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book but I’ve been seriously impressed! I found myself totally immersed in the life of Dr Katarina Holliday. As a protagonist, I found her really relatable, from her exhaustion, frustration, mistakes and reflections about her work. Although fictionalised, this book really provides you with a shocking insight into the gruelling world of medicine and some of the struggles our heroic doctors have to endure on a daily basis. I read this in a few short days and found it very much ‘unputdownable.’ – Meg, VIC, 5 stars

‘Who saves the doctor?! A real and somewhat disturbing reminder to us that life as a doctor isn’t all that we grow up dreaming about. Sonia Henry has done a truly magnificent job of writing a page turning book from start to finish. ‘Going Under’ details Kitty Holliday’s first year as a junior doctor in a major Sydney hospital. Inspired by the authors real life experiences working in the medical profession, she has managed to perform the task of enlightening us non-doctors of what is a serious problem in our hospitals while at the same time providing a light, often funny journey of Kitty and her experiences. Kitty’s vision of what life as a doctor really is comes crashing down from day one. The long hours, low pay, lack of proper supervision. hierarchy of power, bullying and the list goes on, is a tough pill to swallow. Her strong support network keeps her going however this isn’t something that all the young doctors have to cling onto in these early and difficult years. I highly recommend this novel, not only for the enjoyable read that it is but also for the insight that it provides into a profession most of us are completely oblivious and removed from.’ – Trina, NSW, 5 stars

‘Going Under is an addictive read. Equal parts humour, love, despair and horror. I loved it! Dr. Katarina Holliday is an engaging character. I love her lust for life and the way she keeps going even when she makes mistakes. She is strong and focussed, eager to pursue a career in Surgery. In her first year as an Intern she faces the ingrained internal hospital system of bullying, harassment and long hours. Without the love and support of her friends she would definitely have gone under. Going Under gives a horrifying insight into the hierarchy of hospitals and the terrible conditions in which doctors are expected to work. It also shows the flip side, with encouragement and kindness people flourish, so what makes a hospital choose harassment over encouragement? I have no answer. I recommend you read the book.’ – Daniella, QLD, 5 stars

‘I really enjoyed reading Sonia Henry’s novel, ‘Going Under’. It had me from page one. The experiences which the trainee doctors in this novel go through, I feel are not far off the truth of our medical world. The bullying and intimidation they suffer, is reflective of most work places. It was an eye opener, and very enjoyable.’ – Rebecca, TAS, 5 stars

Read all the Preview reviews for Going Under here

Publisher details

Going Under
Sonia Henry
Allen & Unwin
02 September, 2019


A darkly funny and sexy novel that blows the lid off the medical profession and life inside a hospital by a young doctor whose anonymous article about the pressures of trainee doctors went viral around the world.

Dr Katarina ‘Kitty’ Holliday thought that once she finished medical school and found gainful employment at one of Sydney’s best teaching hospitals that her dream was just beginning. The hard years, she thought, were finally over.But Kitty is in for a rude shock. Between trying to survive on the ward, in the operating theatre and in the emergency department without killing any of her patients or going under herself, Kitty finds herself facing situations that rock her very understanding of the vocation to which she intends to devote her life...Going Under is a rare insight into the world of a trainee female medic that takes an unflinching look at the reality of being a doctor. It explores the big themes—life, death, power and love—through the eyes of Dr Holliday as she loses her identity and nearly her mind in the pressure-cooker world of the hospital. But it is also there that Kitty might find her own redemption and finally know herself for the first time.

Darkly funny, sexy, moving and shocking, Going Under will grip you from the opening page and never let you go.

Sonia Henry
About the author

Sonia Henry

Sonia Henry is in her early thirties and lives and works in Sydney as a doctor. When she's not being a medic she devotes her spare time to writing and has been published in Kevin MD (America’s leading physician blog), the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian Medical Students Journal, and has scientific publications in the ANZ Journal of Surgery.Her most widely read article was an anonymous piece, ‘There is something rotten inside the medical profession’, which detailed the stress of medical training and was shared more than 22,000 times and re-published widely around the world. This article led to the start of a conversation that her novel Going Under seeks to continue. Dr Brad Frankum, head of the AMA NSW, penned an open letter in response to her piece, as did many other doctors who decided that it was time to speak out.In her spare time, Sonia loves drinking wine with her friends, eating good food, and trying to save money to travel to new and fabulous places. She is a keen skier in the winter and likes Sydney for its beaches in the summer. She tried to join a gym but isn't a morning person so has replaced exercise with an extra hour of sleep.

Books by Sonia Henry


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