Living... as an inveterate New Yorker, forced into the small Alaskan town of Cicely. It was a requirement of the scholarship granted to him for his $125,000 education at Columbia University’s medical school. Joel thought he’d be working in Anchorage, which was bad enough, but is told that instead he’ll spend four years in Cicely, where the moose occupy the streets and bagels don’t exist. His first reaction: “I will under no condition spend the best years of my life in the worst place on Earth!”
Profession... medical doctor. He’s obligated to practice in Cicely for a mandatory minimum of four years. It was an overlooked requirement of a scholarship contract that Joel signed. He could face an 18-year prison sentence for backing out of the deal, so he’s going to have to make the best of it – even if that’s not his usual way.
Interests... avid golfer. However, the sport isn’t very practical in this part of the world.
Relationship Status… involved in a long-distance relationship with his fiancé, Elaine, in New York. At least he was until he received a “Dear John” letter soon after his arrival in Cicely, one more thing manages to hold against the town. He can’t imagine finding someone to date seriously here. Sure, bush pilot (and his landlord) Maggie O’Connell is attractive, but they drive each other crazy. Of course, plenty of couples start out that way, so who knows.
Challenge... surviving in Cicely. “Thriving” seems like too much to shoot for right now, at least until Joel’s attitude improves. The New Yorker is convinced that he is smarter and better than his new neighbors, which doesn’t exactly help him make friends. Every day he kicks himself because he has to “spend the next four years of his life in this Godforsaken, hole-in-the-wall, pigsty with a bunch of dirty, psychotic rednecks!” He needs to get over himself.
Personality... critical, cocky, and neurotic.Though Joel can’t see it now, being dropped into Cicely may end up being the best thing that ever happened to him. He’s uptight and judgmental, but even with as much abuse as he doles out to the townspeople, most of them are willing to overlook it and not take it personally because they’re so darn nice. Cicely may be remote but it’s a special place, and hopefully Joel will stop griping about it not being Manhattan long enough to see it. He’s still young, so there’s hope for him yet.
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