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The Surgeon's Daughter

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New from the USA Today bestselling author of The Girl in His Shadow! Women's work is a matter of life and death. Nora Beady, the only female student at a prestigious medical school in Bologna, is a rarity. In the 19th century women are expected to remain at home and raise children, so her unconventional, indelicate ambitions to become a licensed surgeon offend the men ar New from the USA Today bestselling author of The Girl in His Shadow! Women's work is a matter of life and death. Nora Beady, the only female student at a prestigious medical school in Bologna, is a rarity. In the 19th century women are expected to remain at home and raise children, so her unconventional, indelicate ambitions to become a licensed surgeon offend the men around her. Under constant scrutiny, Nora's successes are taken for granted; her mistakes used as proof that women aren't suited to the field. Everything changes when she allies herself with Magdalena Morenco, the sole female doctor on-staff. Together the two women develop new techniques to improve a groundbreaking surgery: the Cesarean section. It's a highly dangerous procedure and the research is grueling, but even worse is the vitriolic response from men. Most don't trust the findings of women, and many can choose to deny their wives medical care. Already facing resistance on all sides, Nora is shaken when she meets a patient who will die without the surgery. If the procedure is successful, her work could change the world. But a failure could cost everything: precious lives, Nora's career, and the role women will be allowed to play in medicine.


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New from the USA Today bestselling author of The Girl in His Shadow! Women's work is a matter of life and death. Nora Beady, the only female student at a prestigious medical school in Bologna, is a rarity. In the 19th century women are expected to remain at home and raise children, so her unconventional, indelicate ambitions to become a licensed surgeon offend the men ar New from the USA Today bestselling author of The Girl in His Shadow! Women's work is a matter of life and death. Nora Beady, the only female student at a prestigious medical school in Bologna, is a rarity. In the 19th century women are expected to remain at home and raise children, so her unconventional, indelicate ambitions to become a licensed surgeon offend the men around her. Under constant scrutiny, Nora's successes are taken for granted; her mistakes used as proof that women aren't suited to the field. Everything changes when she allies herself with Magdalena Morenco, the sole female doctor on-staff. Together the two women develop new techniques to improve a groundbreaking surgery: the Cesarean section. It's a highly dangerous procedure and the research is grueling, but even worse is the vitriolic response from men. Most don't trust the findings of women, and many can choose to deny their wives medical care. Already facing resistance on all sides, Nora is shaken when she meets a patient who will die without the surgery. If the procedure is successful, her work could change the world. But a failure could cost everything: precious lives, Nora's career, and the role women will be allowed to play in medicine.

30 review for The Surgeon's Daughter

  1. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    The Surgeon’s Daughter is set in 19th century with a heroine who dreams of becoming a licensed surgeon in a time when medicine belongs only to men. Nora arrives from England to Bologna, Italy, to study medicine, where women are allowed. She quickly learns that allowed doesn’t mean welcomed. She receives nothing but opposition or open hostility. Dr. Marenco is the only female doctor and whom Nora failed to impress during her assistance. And she wonders how Dr. Marenco was able to “achieve her stat The Surgeon’s Daughter is set in 19th century with a heroine who dreams of becoming a licensed surgeon in a time when medicine belongs only to men. Nora arrives from England to Bologna, Italy, to study medicine, where women are allowed. She quickly learns that allowed doesn’t mean welcomed. She receives nothing but opposition or open hostility. Dr. Marenco is the only female doctor and whom Nora failed to impress during her assistance. And she wonders how Dr. Marenco was able to “achieve her status as medicine wasn’t a path a woman could take alone; she needed advocates.” Even if Nora receives her medical degree, she still has to find an English guild that will license her so she can legally work in England. Dr. Marenco is considered very knowledgeable and well-respected and with Nora’s knowledge of the use of ether, they make groundbreaking steps in once impossible Cesarean section surgery. But it’s still a man’s world and husbands decide if their wives can have this kind of surgery, which is still a very highly risky surgery. The story of Nora alternates with a story of Daniel, her partner who is in England and who is also a doctor. Both stories are driven by the cases they treat. As the story begins, it gives a short background how Nora was involved with medicine, which was very unusual for women of her time. I enjoyed this part very much and wished that her story, her character was developed more. The historical background is very interesting as the setting is at the Bologna University, the oldest continuously operating university in the world, and the cases presented in the story are based on real cases at the time. The struggle of women trying to break in medicine is very real. But at times, it feels that the cases overwhelm the story and that’s why I wished for stronger character-development. Source: ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    3.5 stars Whenever we think that women are oppressed, we need to read something that points out quite aptly the struggle women who came before us. It's the nineteenth century where being a doctor is a man's work. Women are considered too weak, too needy, and can't see things of an indelicate nature. One of the professions that women were banned from was that of becoming a doctor. However, in The Surgeon’s Daughter, we find a young woman, Nora Beady, who so desires this position. Nowhere in Englan 3.5 stars Whenever we think that women are oppressed, we need to read something that points out quite aptly the struggle women who came before us. It's the nineteenth century where being a doctor is a man's work. Women are considered too weak, too needy, and can't see things of an indelicate nature. One of the professions that women were banned from was that of becoming a doctor. However, in The Surgeon’s Daughter, we find a young woman, Nora Beady, who so desires this position. Nowhere in England will allow her to train so Nora's off to Bologna University in Italy since they allow women. Her desire is to be a surgeon and one can imagine the barriers that are in place to stop her, from fellow students (all men) to teachers and others. She is assigned to Magdalana Morenco a well known woman doctor, really the only one, and initially their relationship is tenuous at best. She needs to prove herself and as she moves forward to her desire Together the women use ether, a new way to deter pain and also Caesarean sections, a very dangerous procedure at the time. These methods were considered experimental and the men felt these practices to be barbaric, opposing change in most forms. The men threw invectives, while keeping their very wives away from medical attention they needed. As they ladies, persevered, one had to wonder about how they could in an environment that seemed to want them to fail. This was a fine story, a bit too lengthy, but once again pointing to the old world thought that women only belonged in the home catering to the whims of men. I enjoyed the story that showed strength and perseverance in following the path you desire. Thank you to Audrey Blake, and NetGalley for the audio version, narrated by Susan Lyons, of this story.

  3. 5 out of 5

    RoshReviews

    In a Nutshell: I liked it, I didn’t love it. The medical details are excellent. The characters failed to make an impression. Why isn’t it revealed anywhere that this is a sequel?!?!?!!? Grrrrrr!!!! Story: Nora Beady has arrived at the famed medical school in Bologna to study medicine as her native England doesn’t allow women to become licensed surgeons. She is very clear that on completion of her studies, she will return to her country and practise along with her mentor Dr. Horace Croft. Though th In a Nutshell: I liked it, I didn’t love it. The medical details are excellent. The characters failed to make an impression. Why isn’t it revealed anywhere that this is a sequel?!?!?!!? Grrrrrr!!!! Story: Nora Beady has arrived at the famed medical school in Bologna to study medicine as her native England doesn’t allow women to become licensed surgeons. She is very clear that on completion of her studies, she will return to her country and practise along with her mentor Dr. Horace Croft. Though the Italian college has opened its doors to women, the biases still remain. Nora has to work harder to show that she is as capable (maybe, even more) to handle surgery, especially in the field of obstetrics, where she is learning the new technique of the Caesarean section under the only female doctor on staff, Dr. Magdalena Morenco. The story is written in a limited third person point of view of Nora and Dr. Daniel Gibson, her beau who is facing his own problems back in England. First things first. I had no idea that this was a sequel to ‘The Girl in His Shadow: A Novel’. There is no indication of this on Goodreads, or NetGalley, or even on the book’s cover. The story very clearly continues from the events of the book one. So to put it quite bluntly, I feel cheated. Second. A book MAY not be advertised as a sequel if it can be read as a standalone. While this story is complete by itself, there are many references to events that happened in the first book. (Please note, only reference, no details.) Most of the characters are from the first book, so there is not much background info on them in this novel. It is assumed that you know them well and hence will understand their behaviour without much elaboration required. I repeat, I feel cheated. (Just in case my irritation hasn’t made itself evident, let me clarify further. I am a series freak and I avoid reading books out of series order. There are exceptions, of course, but this is when I know that the book is a part of a series and I am aware of the break in the order when I make my choice. This title didn’t award me that knowledge.) Where the book worked for me: 👌 The medical details are outstanding. Whether it is about the Caesarean section or the other ailments peppered regularly in the story, the doctors’ busy lives and their attempts to learn more using corpses, everything connected to the medical world is enlightening. (It might be better to read the book while you aren’t eating. Some of the procedures will make you queasy!) 👌 The book casts light on the limitations placed on women not just in medical school but also in general society. While we are already aware of the struggles of the women of the past whose battles have allowed us a much better life in the 21st century, it is still good to know more on this topic. Where the book could have worked better for me: ☠ Ahem… If I had known that it was a continuation and not a standalone as I was led to believe. ☠ If the character backstories had been provided in greater detail so as to not inconvenience those readers who pick this book without reading the first one. All the returning characters felt flat because of this writing choice. ☠ I don’t think the cover suits the book AT ALL! (Actually, even the title left me confused for a long time. It took me almost half the book to understand that the surgeon’s daughter referred to Nora and not Magdalena.) ☠ The book should have established its time period clearly right at the start. Only at the 70% mark is it revealed that the story is set in 1847. (Not sure if I missed an earlier reference in the audiobook.) So until that time, I wasn’t sure where to place the story, though I knew it was in some historical period. The audiobook experience: The audiobook, clocking at 13.5 hrs, is narrated by Susan Lyons. Her narration was good, not outstanding but not bad as well. Actually, her reading felt more like a general reading than a performance. No separate accents, no nuanced distinctions between characters. While all this isn’t a must, it does help enhance the listening experience if well done. Still, it is a decent audiobook and would definitely work for audio newbies as well as regulars. All in all, I certainly would have enjoyed the story a lot more had I had the chance to know the characters better through the first book. I liked the story but couldn’t establish a connection with a single character, which is quite sad considering there were two strong female characters - Dr. Nora Beady and Dr. Magdalena Morenco. Recommended to those who have read and loved ‘The Girl in His Shadow’. 3.5 stars, rounding down because my disappointment doesn’t allow me to click that fourth star. My thanks to RB Media and NetGalley for the ALC of “The Surgeon's Daughter”. This review is voluntary and contains my honest opinion about the audiobook. *********************** Join me on the Facebook group, Readers Forever! , for more reviews, book-related discussions and fun.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karren Sandercock

    Unable to study medicine in England, Eleanor Beady travels to Italy with her companion Mrs. Phipps to attend the University of Bologna. Nora is the ward of legendary English surgeon Dr. Horace Croft and she's been his unqualified assistant. Nora still faces terrible discrimination in Italy, the professors choose male medical students to answer questions, assist in procedures and despite her knowledge and experience. Her situation improves when she meets Dr. Magdalena Morenco, she’s the only fema Unable to study medicine in England, Eleanor Beady travels to Italy with her companion Mrs. Phipps to attend the University of Bologna. Nora is the ward of legendary English surgeon Dr. Horace Croft and she's been his unqualified assistant. Nora still faces terrible discrimination in Italy, the professors choose male medical students to answer questions, assist in procedures and despite her knowledge and experience. Her situation improves when she meets Dr. Magdalena Morenco, she’s the only female doctor employed at the hospital and she specializes in treating women. Dr. Morenco wants to improve her technique in preforming revolutionary Caesarean section surgery, by making it pain free and increase the chances of both the mother and baby surviving. Most doctors at the time thought natural childbirth was the only option, the womb was considered sacred, shouldn’t be tampered with and even though they didn't have one! Nora misses home, her mentor Dr. Croft and her romantic interest Dr. Daniel Gibson, who are busy expanding the clinic at 43 Queen Street and are facing financial and health difficulties. Lady Athena Rawlston has been advised to not get pregnant, she almost died during her last pregnancy and she seeks Nora’s help when she returns to England. Nora literally holds two lives and her career in medicine and the future of all aspiring female doctors around the world in her hands. I received a copy of The Surgeon’s Daughter by Audrey Blake from Edelweiss and Sourcebooks Landmark in exchange for an honest review. A well written story about women trying to study and work in a male dominated field in the nineteenth century, the discrimination they faced, despite the obvious advantages they had over men (smaller hands) and women wanting to be treated by other women. I highly recommend this and the first book in the series The Girl in his Shadow if you have an interest in the history of women practicing medicine and Nora's character is the perfect role model for girls interested in STEM and five stars from me. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/ https://www.facebook.com/KarrenReadsH...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kylie

    Nora Beady, desires to be surgeon, however it is early in the 19th century whereby it is frowned upon for a women to have a career, as they all should be at home being housewife's, and looking after their children. Nora (Eleanor) was raised by the infamous surgeon Dr. Horace Croft and his love of his work, has influenced Nora. Nora was assisting in Dr. Croft's surgeries, which was shunned upon. Nora then had to leave London and travel to Bologna Italy whereby she is recruited by Dr. Perra at the Nora Beady, desires to be surgeon, however it is early in the 19th century whereby it is frowned upon for a women to have a career, as they all should be at home being housewife's, and looking after their children. Nora (Eleanor) was raised by the infamous surgeon Dr. Horace Croft and his love of his work, has influenced Nora. Nora was assisting in Dr. Croft's surgeries, which was shunned upon. Nora then had to leave London and travel to Bologna Italy whereby she is recruited by Dr. Perra at the Bologna University and received a position in the Medical School. Although Nora is accepted as a student, she is treated poorly by the staff and the students, as after all she is a female. Nora meets a female Dr. in Bologna, Dr. Magdalana Morenco, she is a highly skilled surgeon and has performed multiple surgeries including caesareans. Dr. Perra reccomends to Nora to request to be trained and tutored by Dr. Morenco to assist with accelerating her doctorate. Thank you NetGalley and RB Media for this advanced audio. This book is available to purchase from May 10th, 2022 3 Stars: It was a good book and well-crafted. I would recommend it to the right person. Please visit my blog and facebook page to see all of my past and future book reviews. https://www.facebook.com/Kylies-Book-... https://kyliesbookaddictreviews.blogs...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

    4.5 dazzling stars for this well written historical fiction novel. The title and cover enticed me to listen to this audiobook. I basically began to listen to Susan Lyon’s performance of The Surgeon’s Daughter without reading reviews or finding out much about it before I began to listen. Susan Lyon’s performance was well done as she effortlessly switched from character to character. I found out after I completed the audiobook that The Surgeon’s Daughter was the second book that Audrey Blake had w 4.5 dazzling stars for this well written historical fiction novel. The title and cover enticed me to listen to this audiobook. I basically began to listen to Susan Lyon’s performance of The Surgeon’s Daughter without reading reviews or finding out much about it before I began to listen. Susan Lyon’s performance was well done as she effortlessly switched from character to character. I found out after I completed the audiobook that The Surgeon’s Daughter was the second book that Audrey Blake had written about courageous and determined Nora Beady. Not having read the first book, The Girl in His Shadow, I was not deterred in any way from enjoying The Surgeon’s Daughter. In my opinion, The Surgeon’s Daughter can be read as a stand-alone book. That being said, I decided to listen to the first book, The Girl in His Shadow, just to gain background information about the characters I was introduced to in The Surgeon’s Daughter. Audrey Blake is the pen name for authors Jaima Fixsen and Regina Sirois. Together they have written these two captivating historical fiction novels. They are both on my radar now. The Surgeon’s Daughter was well paced and was enriched with many vivid details of the time period and of how hard it was for a woman to become a doctor in both Italy and England. The story alternated between Nora’s medical training in Bologna, Italy and with Nora’s fiancé, Dr. Daniel Gibson, and the challenges he faced in his medical practice with Dr. Croft. The Surgeon’s Daughter took place in the early to mid 1800’s, when women with any ambition of pursuing a medical career, were frowned upon, degraded and challenged relentlessly. Nora Beady, the ward of respected and brilliant surgeon, Horace Croft, was one of those women. She had aspired to become a doctor in England but due to circumstances beyond her control, Nora was forced to pursue her medical training in Italy at the University of Bologna, the oldest university in Europe. She had acted as Dr. Croft’s assistant since he began to teach her when she was merely fourteen years old. Now Nora found herself as the only female student in her medical class. Her goal was to become licensed as a surgeon and then return to home to England to practice beside her mentor, Dr. Croft and her fiancé, Dr. Daniel Gibson. Nora had to work twice as hard as any of her male counterparts in her class even though her medical talent was far superior to them. She was not at all deterred when the male doctors passed her over and chose male medical students instead of herself. Nora excelled in administering ether and was often called upon to demonstrate her knowledge of this or use it in certain surgeries. One day, Nora was attending to a pregnant female patient. The patient was in distress and the birth was proving to be very complicated and beyond Nora’s capabilities. It was then that Nora was joined by Dr. Magdalena Morenco, the only female doctor, and made to assist in performing a cesarean section on the patient. Nora was fascinated and terrified at the same time. Over time, the two women came to respect each other and made a pact to teach each other their noted skill. Nora taught Magdalena how to administer ether and Magdalena taught Nora how to perform cesarean sections. The Surgeon’s Daughter was very well written. Having two daughters in the medical field and knowing how hard they had to work to get where they are in their careers, I can’t imagine how hard it had been for the women back in the nineteenth century. The Surgeon’s Daughter was so insightful about all the challenges those women faced and the courage and determination they had to have to succeed. This novel focused on the themes of friendship, love, family, resilience, courage, being open to new medical breakthroughs, confidence and caring. I really enjoyed listening to The Surgeon’s Daughter by Audrey Blake and look forward to the next book about Nora Beady and the other well developed and likable characters that the authors brought to life for me. I find myself still thinking about the characters and the story even though I finished the book. I highly recommend this book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Thanks to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS Landmark for an egalley in exchange for an honest review. I actually received this book when it was in the Read Now section of the platform Nora Beady has left England, her beloved guardian and her first love to pursue her medical dreams to become a surgeon in 19th century Italy. But even in a medical college that allows women to learn new and exciting procedures, Nora faces one obstacle after another. This was a great historical novel with a compelling heroin Thanks to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS Landmark for an egalley in exchange for an honest review. I actually received this book when it was in the Read Now section of the platform Nora Beady has left England, her beloved guardian and her first love to pursue her medical dreams to become a surgeon in 19th century Italy. But even in a medical college that allows women to learn new and exciting procedures, Nora faces one obstacle after another. This was a great historical novel with a compelling heroine and a plot that was very intriguing. The very type of novel that keeps me sitting on my couch even when the washer and dryer remind me that I have laundry to do. Goodreads review published 28/04/22 Expected Publication Date 10/05/22

  8. 5 out of 5

    chantalsbookstuff

    Thank you Netgalley and RB Media for this audiobook ARC. When Nora faces the challenge of not being able to attend Medical School in England she travels to Italy to obtain her medical license where she is faced with numerous challenges and the need to prove herself. When her mentor Dr Horace Croft falls ill she has to speed up her studies in the hope to obtain her degree and rush home to see Dr Croft before in his failing health. This is a really riveting story of young woman in the 19th Century, Thank you Netgalley and RB Media for this audiobook ARC. When Nora faces the challenge of not being able to attend Medical School in England she travels to Italy to obtain her medical license where she is faced with numerous challenges and the need to prove herself. When her mentor Dr Horace Croft falls ill she has to speed up her studies in the hope to obtain her degree and rush home to see Dr Croft before in his failing health. This is a really riveting story of young woman in the 19th Century, were ladies are not meant to work and not suited for this field. It tells the story of Nora's successful journey and what she had to endure to get there. I loved the insight into how the hospitals worked and the challenges they faced. Packed and ongoing until the end, I loved it!

  9. 5 out of 5

    theliterateleprechaun

    American, Regina Sirois and Canadian, Jaima Fixsen, the writing duo with the nom de plume, Audrey Blake, have done it again! In this sequel, they’ve taken us to 43 Great Queen Street, London and allowed us to watch Daniel and Dr. Horace Croft in action. We are able step to the operating table as they diagnose erysipelas, tetanus and diphtheria (child strangler) and operate on femoral hernia, bladder stones, and strangulated hernia. They’ve also taken us to medical school in the late 1800s in Ita American, Regina Sirois and Canadian, Jaima Fixsen, the writing duo with the nom de plume, Audrey Blake, have done it again! In this sequel, they’ve taken us to 43 Great Queen Street, London and allowed us to watch Daniel and Dr. Horace Croft in action. We are able step to the operating table as they diagnose erysipelas, tetanus and diphtheria (child strangler) and operate on femoral hernia, bladder stones, and strangulated hernia. They’ve also taken us to medical school in the late 1800s in Italy. The catalyst for this move begins with the challenges in the surgeon’s guild when it was discovered that Nora Beady had been illegally trained by her guardian, Dr Croft, and was (gasp!) assisting in operations. Thankful for connections, Nora is recruited by Dr. Salvio Perra, a teacher at the University of Bologna, and offered a place in the prestigious Italian medical school. Although women are accepted into this program, she still faces oppression. She blossoms under the only female doctor on staff, Dr. Magdalena Morenco, and works with her to improve Cesarean section operations. I was shocked at the pressure put on Nora, characteristic of what female doctors of the time faced. If she actually was allowed a place at the operating table (and not fetching pillows) and it was successful, it was never talked about. If she failed at the operating table, it was proof for the males that she (women) shouldn’t be there. Women have come a long way and, yes, there are still miles to go. It left me appreciative of my university degree and respect received in my career as well as thankful for parents who raised me to be a strong woman. A STEM teacher, I find myself making a point to encourage female students with promise to pursue a career in the field. This took me back to Nora and although she didn’t have a mother as she grew up, she had many ‘mothers’ in her life; those who stepped up with guidance and love. We have a responsibility after reading this book - encourage and foster a love of learning, a sense of determination and appreciate the power of passing the torch to others. This riveting historical novel brings to light the reality of a doctor’s life in the late 1800s: “A doctor’s life, it often seemed, was a series of gambles mixed alternately with unsolvable and unnecessary problems.” I’m confident Miss Beady’s journey is not over yet and I (fingers crossed) anticipate another 5-star installment in her road to a successful surgeon. I was gifted this advance copy by Audrey Blake, Sourcebooks Landmark, and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    I was so thrilled to discover this book! After The Girl in His Shadow I wasn’t ready to let these characters go and I’m so thankful I didn’t have to! Much like their first book, Audrey Blake takes us back into the world of 19th century medicine once again through the eyes and capable hands of Nora Beady and Dr. Daniel Gibson. I was sad to see the pair part ways at the end of book one and I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel with them so far apart.. But I quickly became engrossed in their separa I was so thrilled to discover this book! After The Girl in His Shadow I wasn’t ready to let these characters go and I’m so thankful I didn’t have to! Much like their first book, Audrey Blake takes us back into the world of 19th century medicine once again through the eyes and capable hands of Nora Beady and Dr. Daniel Gibson. I was sad to see the pair part ways at the end of book one and I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel with them so far apart.. But I quickly became engrossed in their separate lives. Nora studying medicine at the prestigious University of Bologna and battling sexism and self doubt and Daniel battling a diphtheria outbreak and constant ridicule from his colleagues, back in London. I did however adore the little glimpses we got into their communication which made their longing for life to return to normal, with each other, feel more real. The medical cases were fascinating, if not incredibly graphic and the relationships developed throughout kept the story moving beautifully. It’s a bit of a slog though and while that word often conjures negative feelings I’d say this was one journey that was made better for it. Much like book 1, The Surgeon’s Daughter is heavy in a lot of ways. But the writing is beautiful and the characters continue to jump from the page and warm your heart. I still don’t think I’m ready to say goodbye to Nora, Daniel, Dr. Croft or Mrs. Phipps but I am certainly glad to have had more time with them all! Thank you to Netgalley and Casablanca Landmark for a copy in exchange of an honest review! Trigger warnings Graphic descriptions of traumatic births, deaths and various other medical issues involving both adults and children can be found throughout. Choking, stillbirths, death of children

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    This book is a fictionalized and personalized account of a female medical student in the nineteenth century. Even as she is ridiculed and bullied at every turn, she demonstrates that she can make a big difference in the care and treatment of patients. Having been raised by a noted surgeon after her parents died in an epidemic, she has a much greater understanding of the field than her fellow students. She also shares a love with another medical student who has returned to London while she must c This book is a fictionalized and personalized account of a female medical student in the nineteenth century. Even as she is ridiculed and bullied at every turn, she demonstrates that she can make a big difference in the care and treatment of patients. Having been raised by a noted surgeon after her parents died in an epidemic, she has a much greater understanding of the field than her fellow students. She also shares a love with another medical student who has returned to London while she must continue on in Italy. The descriptions of conditions and treatments of the day are spot on but may not be comfortably appreciated by non-medical readers. Excellent read. I requested and received a free e-book copy from Sourcebooks Landmark via NetGalley. Thank you!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Liz Mannegren

    The Surgeon's Daughter has been one of my most anticipated reads of 2022, and I am thrilled to say that it absolutely lived up to expectations. Last year, I completely fell in love with The Girl in His Shadow and I wasn't ready to part ways with these characters! The Surgeon's Daughter picked up where we left off and gave me all the same feelings -- a courageous woman who is ready to fight for her right to practice medicine, an incredible historical setting, drama that kept me flipping pages, an The Surgeon's Daughter has been one of my most anticipated reads of 2022, and I am thrilled to say that it absolutely lived up to expectations. Last year, I completely fell in love with The Girl in His Shadow and I wasn't ready to part ways with these characters! The Surgeon's Daughter picked up where we left off and gave me all the same feelings -- a courageous woman who is ready to fight for her right to practice medicine, an incredible historical setting, drama that kept me flipping pages, and medical stories that are gritty but authentic. The Surgeon's Daughter is beautifully written and had me fully invested in the characters. I can only imagine how tricky it is to write a long-distance love story but it worked! (And you know a book is well-written when you want to jump into the pages and punch the villain in the nose... Vickery! Gah.) While this book can be read as a standalone, I would definitely recommend going back and grabbing a copy of The Girl in His Shadow first! Full of heart and perseverance, courage and determination, I wholeheartedly recommend The Surgeon's Daughter to historical fiction fans. Another gorgeous novel by Audrey Blake!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lynda

    While this book is fiction, the history about the topics, people and places was utilized throughout resulting in a richer reading experience. Nora’s goal is to become a licensed surgeon. But this is the 1850s and women were to be wives and mothers. Period. Nora was “adopted” by Horace Croft, one of the finest surgeons in England. He has taught her since she came to live with him. Hands-on. Training by doing. She is quite ready for medical school. BUT, knowing she would never be accepted into any While this book is fiction, the history about the topics, people and places was utilized throughout resulting in a richer reading experience. Nora’s goal is to become a licensed surgeon. But this is the 1850s and women were to be wives and mothers. Period. Nora was “adopted” by Horace Croft, one of the finest surgeons in England. He has taught her since she came to live with him. Hands-on. Training by doing. She is quite ready for medical school. BUT, knowing she would never be accepted into any medical school in England, Dr. Croft sends her to the University of Bologna’s medical school, where a woman is on staff. But Nora is a rarity, she is the only female. She is not accepted by her teachers or fellow students. Any mistake, perceived or real, is proof women should not be studying medicine. Nora’s successes were ignored. But she did have one distinct advantage, she was extremely knowledgeable about administering ether. Many doctors did not accept ether; knowing how to administer it was key. The female doctor on the staff had just returned — Magdalena Morenco who has performed a Cesarean (extremely rare) while away. A woman appears at the hospital who has been in labor for an exceedingly long time. Magdalena orders Nora to administer ether and assist in a Cesarean. And that is the beginning of Nora’s belief in herself. This is only a small part of this book. There is so much more. Dr. Croft’s battles with an envious and far less learned doctor. Daniel, Nora’s almost-finance, who works with Dr. Croft. How a diphtheria epidemic is handled. Midwives knew so much about birth, but their knowledge was ignored by the medical profession. You will be reminded how little the medical world then knew about germs. Instruments were “wiped off” and put away for next use. No wonder so many died of sepsis. How hospitals turned away patients if they could not pay, even when the doctors knew it meant death. I discovered in “A Conversation with the Authors” at the end of the story, a previous book, The Girl in His Shadow, covers the period with Dr. Croft, Nora and Daniel before Nora goes to Bologna. Be sure to read the “Historical Notes” at the end of the book as well as the “A Conversation with the Authors” for facts about this era in women in medicine. The University of Bologna was founded in 1088 and the oldest university in continuous operation in the world. The first Cesarean where both mother and baby survived was performed by a British person was done by an English woman posing as a man. I recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction that is steeped in fact. The medical procedures described in The Surgeon’s Daughter were pulled from actual cases written in that period. I received a complimentary e-ARC* copy of The Surgeon’s Daughter from the publisher, Sourcebooks Landmark, via NetGalley. A positive review was not required; the opinions expressed are entirely my own. Rating: 5 stars. Cover rating: Good but does not convey anything medical. The silhouette has the woman in a field. The story takes place in towns, not in the country. Series & number:(Unknown when review published) #2. Pages: Unknown, est. over 300. Publish date: May 10, 2022. #TheSurgeonsDaughter #AudreyBlake #NetGalley e-ARC* — electronic Advanced Reader Copy. Current Blog Link: https://lyndapbookreviews.com/

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shirley McAllister

    Nora's Challenge Inspirational, historical and page turning. This story of one woman's fight for the career which is her life's passion is brilliant. I spent all day reading this book , I just could not put it down. Nora, has been working under the great surgeon Doctor Horace Croft. She was not allowed to attend medical school in England so was taught in secret by her guardian Dr. Croft, who took her in when she was orphaned. Now with Dr. Croft's help she has been accepted to medical school in Bo Nora's Challenge Inspirational, historical and page turning. This story of one woman's fight for the career which is her life's passion is brilliant. I spent all day reading this book , I just could not put it down. Nora, has been working under the great surgeon Doctor Horace Croft. She was not allowed to attend medical school in England so was taught in secret by her guardian Dr. Croft, who took her in when she was orphaned. Now with Dr. Croft's help she has been accepted to medical school in Bologna, Italy. She soon finds that although women are allowed to study at the university they are not welcomed. She finds she must not only do well in her studies and her work, but she must excel more so than any of the other students. Putting up with prejudice from the other students who are all male, she fights her way . When she gains the trust of the only woman Doctor on staff, Dr. Marenco, she tutors with her and they work together to perfect a surgery to help pregnant women in time of distress. This is to be called the Cesarean Section. They also worked on perfecting the use of Ether in these surgeries which although used in England had been a new concept in Italy. At home in England her fiancée Daniel works with Dr. Croft to help children with diphtheria. They must fight the other doctors, especially Dr. Vickery who wants to use traditional methods of treatment and scoffs at the newer methods that Daniel and Dr. Croft are working on. I applaud the brave pioneers in medicine that pushed the limit to find new and better ways to treat those with illness, never giving up and working long hours to save the ill. New and improved methods of treatment saved so many lives. It was sad to see the reception and the prejudice that Nora received just because she was a woman. The prejudice still exists to a certain extent but now women have the freedom to embrace their dreams and go for the career they have a passion for. Although some still think women should be home being wives and mother's only there are those now that believe women can excel at careers that only men were allowed before. I think women still have a ways to go to break through that prejudice that still exists but we are forging foreword. It is because of the brave women in history that today we have that chance. This was a truly inspiring book and I am so fortunate to have had the chance to read it. I would definitely recommend it to all women and men as well. Thanks to Audrey Blake for writing this inspiring book, to Sourcebooks Landmark for publishing it and to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Christine Cazeneuve

    Thankfully you to NetGalley, the authors, and publisher for an e-arc in exchange for my honest opinion. I really enjoyed this book. It has great characters, storyline and is wonderfully historically accurate. Nora is the main character and you will laugh with her, cry with her, hold your breath with her and ultimately cheer with her. Be prepared for one heck of a journey. I took off one star because it was a bit of a dry start for me but it didn't last long and I was fully engaged. Thankfully you to NetGalley, the authors, and publisher for an e-arc in exchange for my honest opinion. I really enjoyed this book. It has great characters, storyline and is wonderfully historically accurate. Nora is the main character and you will laugh with her, cry with her, hold your breath with her and ultimately cheer with her. Be prepared for one heck of a journey. I took off one star because it was a bit of a dry start for me but it didn't last long and I was fully engaged.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Loretta Miles Tollefson

    A really special book about a young Englishwoman who must seek a medical education in 1840s Italy because it's not available to her at home. She encounters one obstacle after the other, but perseveres. While this alone would make a good novel, there's much more to this story. Highly recommended! A really special book about a young Englishwoman who must seek a medical education in 1840s Italy because it's not available to her at home. She encounters one obstacle after the other, but perseveres. While this alone would make a good novel, there's much more to this story. Highly recommended!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Eunice R

    I do not have enough praises for this book! The characters have strong backbones making the story strong and entirely believable. In my opinion the authors have done an excellent job. Their research task must have been mammoth but the pathos, the angst, the maddening frustrations, and deeply demeaning-of-women essence of the times as portrayed in this historical fiction, oozes out of the pages' pores and about knocks you over. Like, "A female doctor? NOT on my watch!" This was the general male I do not have enough praises for this book! The characters have strong backbones making the story strong and entirely believable. In my opinion the authors have done an excellent job. Their research task must have been mammoth but the pathos, the angst, the maddening frustrations, and deeply demeaning-of-women essence of the times as portrayed in this historical fiction, oozes out of the pages' pores and about knocks you over. Like, "A female doctor? NOT on my watch!" This was the general male reaction just as much as a female one. Female doctors, female lawyers or female anything else should not be, except for ornamental housewives and/or mothers, being the acceptable vocation for any intelligent woman back in the day of the mid-to-late 1800's and early 1900's when these struggles came more to the fore. The main protagonist Nora, overcame these great odds with the help of Horace, Daniel, Harry, Pozzi, Perra and the invincible M. Marenco and a handful of other cheerleaders such as Mrs. Phipps and Mrs. Crawford. Together, this troop pulled together to overcome the tsunamis of prejudices against women and even against innovative male doctors. Yes, there is an element of romance that threads its way throughout the narrative. However, it does not supercede the main issues being addressed such as the woman being in formerly male-only positions, performing caesareans, trying to help diphtheria sufferers and so on. Seeing how iron sharpens iron between the characters is refreshing, in how they support and lift each other up for their good and to goad each other to do their diligent best and succeed with excellence. The author of this book is labeled as Audrey Blake, yet this superb tale is the concoction and collaboration of two women in cohoots. I hope they will co-author more historical novels to blow us readers out of our complacent chairs. Women these days have much to be thankful for and it is well and good to have such valiant pioneers of the past who endured so much, documented in such memorable fashion and to help us realize what victories have been achieved, in great part, because of the courageous women of the past who stood resolute. The Surgeon's Daughter is just such a monument. Well done, Audrey Blake! Since this story has some grit to it, there are some discussion questions to think through at story's end. There's a spiel about the research material involved and referenced, along with the regular addenda of acknowledgements and about the authors' sections. I hope any future readers will be as enthralled with this story as I have been. ~Eunice C., Reviewer/Blogger~ February 2022 Disclaimer: This is my honest opinion based on the complimentary review copy sent by NetGalley and the publisher.

  18. 5 out of 5

    HR-ML

    Historical fiction. Book #2 & gave it 3 stars. University of Bologna, Italy 1846. Nora, now nearly 25, had been a medical student for 1 year now. She received push-back from male doctors and students, such as Pozzi, b/c she was a woman. (The students called each other by their last names.) There was a language barrier. Even a gifted female obstetrician, Dr. Marenco, acted hostile - what to do? Dr. M complained Nora needed to be quicker in surgery. Re-cap. In book #1, Dr. Croft took in orphan Nor Historical fiction. Book #2 & gave it 3 stars. University of Bologna, Italy 1846. Nora, now nearly 25, had been a medical student for 1 year now. She received push-back from male doctors and students, such as Pozzi, b/c she was a woman. (The students called each other by their last names.) There was a language barrier. Even a gifted female obstetrician, Dr. Marenco, acted hostile - what to do? Dr. M complained Nora needed to be quicker in surgery. Re-cap. In book #1, Dr. Croft took in orphan Nora, whose family died of cholera. Croft had a charity clinic, worked as a St. Bart's surgeon in London & had wealthy patients too. His nemesis, St. Bart's Surg. Chief, Dr. Vickery, clashed with Croft & Croft's mentee Dr. Daniel Gibson. Nora learned surgery from Croft but had no credentials/ license. Croft, who had angina, pd for Nora to attend medical school. His housekeeper, Mrs. Phipps, accompanied Nora to Italy as her chaperon. Nora trained at the Grand Hospital of Life+ Death. Catholic sisters worked there + a nun was pharmacy chief. Nora had successes and failures in surgery. Dr. M insisted on meeting Nora in a church. The church scene seemed like it belonged in another story. Dr. M taught Nora to do a C-section and allowed her to join her special class. A rumor spread about Nora & her married mentor, Professor/ Dr. Salvio Perra, hospital president. Nora & Daniel loved each other & exchanged letters. She felt homesick and worried about Croft. Harry made up for his betrayal in the 1st book. My favorite scene? Nora's 4 Italian professors grilled her for 6+ hours, asking her any/ every medical question, to see if she qualified for an early diploma. Revised.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Christine M in Texas

    The only female student at a prestigious medical school in Bologna, Nora Beady learns from her colleagues in the most unconventional ways. The male surgeons around her do not like her ambitions. She meets Magdalena Morenco, the only female doctor at the school. Both Nora and Magdalena develop ground breaking surgery, the Cesarean. In the 19th century it was very dangerous. They are not taken seriously by the male staff. Nora meets a patient who could die without the surgery. If she succeeds will s The only female student at a prestigious medical school in Bologna, Nora Beady learns from her colleagues in the most unconventional ways. The male surgeons around her do not like her ambitions. She meets Magdalena Morenco, the only female doctor at the school. Both Nora and Magdalena develop ground breaking surgery, the Cesarean. In the 19th century it was very dangerous. They are not taken seriously by the male staff. Nora meets a patient who could die without the surgery. If she succeeds will she get the respect of her male counterparts? Will the woman survive? Does she need to get permission? If she fails, her world and training can come to a halt. Very interesting novel, and shows how far the medical world has come. This novel is captivating, innovative and thought-provoking.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sue Trav

    My first five star review of the year! This book had all the things I love: - Historical era - women's rights/female empowerment - great drama - relatable main character(s) that I adore from the beginning I truly loved this book. Just enough struggle and hardship to make it good without making it totally depressing. I knew what was going to happen in the end (no spoilers here) but that did not make it any less enjoyable. The medical terminology was "just enough" as were the descriptions of the surge My first five star review of the year! This book had all the things I love: - Historical era - women's rights/female empowerment - great drama - relatable main character(s) that I adore from the beginning I truly loved this book. Just enough struggle and hardship to make it good without making it totally depressing. I knew what was going to happen in the end (no spoilers here) but that did not make it any less enjoyable. The medical terminology was "just enough" as were the descriptions of the surgeries. Any more detail and it would have been too gory for me. This was hard to put down and I forced myself to go to bed last night rather than staying up way too late to finish it. I was thrilled to find out that this was a sequel of sorts. I will definitely be checking out the first book by these two authors now. Highly recommend this one if you love historical novels with strong female protagonists! Thank you to the publisher, the authors and to Net Galley for the ARC of this book. (I am off to read The Girl in His Shadow immediately and regretting that I did not read it before this one)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Heather Frimmer

    Since I am a doctor who writes medical fiction, it will come as no surprise that I enjoy learning about the history of medicine. Whether in books (fiction or non fiction), movies, or TV, I am always drawn into medical stories. When I saw this upcoming release about a woman determined to become a surgeon in nineteenth century Europe, I knew it would be right up my alley. The story follows Nora Beady as she travels from her home country of England to Bologna, Italy, to study medicine and get her d Since I am a doctor who writes medical fiction, it will come as no surprise that I enjoy learning about the history of medicine. Whether in books (fiction or non fiction), movies, or TV, I am always drawn into medical stories. When I saw this upcoming release about a woman determined to become a surgeon in nineteenth century Europe, I knew it would be right up my alley. The story follows Nora Beady as she travels from her home country of England to Bologna, Italy, to study medicine and get her degree to practice surgery. She is mentored by a female surgeon who is pioneering the Ceasarean section, inspiring Nora practice and perfect this potentially life saving procedure. The medical scenes are tense, detailed and expertly researched and Nora's story is fascinating and well paced. I really felt invested in Nora's life's work and noble quest right up to the end. About halfway through the book, I learned this book is actually a sequel to Blake's prior novel, The Girl in His Shadow. Blake provides enough backstory for The Surgeon's Daughter to stand alone, but I will definitely be catching up with her prior book sooner rather than later.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Tican

    1847 ~ Twenty years or so ago, eccentric and cantankerous well~known London surgeon Doctor Horace Croft rescued Eleanor 'Nora' Beady, a stationer's orphan barely alive when he found her alone amid the corpses of her grandmother, her mother and her infant brother... all victims of the dreaded cholera that claimed most of the city's Poor. Croft taught his ward as much as the growing girl could process and absorb about the the study of medicine, until after a successful operation (made mainly by No 1847 ~ Twenty years or so ago, eccentric and cantankerous well~known London surgeon Doctor Horace Croft rescued Eleanor 'Nora' Beady, a stationer's orphan barely alive when he found her alone amid the corpses of her grandmother, her mother and her infant brother... all victims of the dreaded cholera that claimed most of the city's Poor. Croft taught his ward as much as the growing girl could process and absorb about the the study of medicine, until after a successful operation (made mainly by Nora and assisted by Daniel) that created a scandal that unfairly blackened Nora's name and made her a pariah in London yet made Daniel's reputation as a physician. So she was packed off to Bologna, Italy with Mrs. Phipps, their housekeeper, so she could earn her medical degree. But even in Bologna, she was also met with prejudice yet she persevered... made some True friends... inspired love in two men... and was forced to accelerate her studies, then her final exams via a grueling 6~hour successful thesis defense, so she could go home with her hard~earned diploma to her beloved guardian who had a life~threatening heart attack... and also to re~unite with Daniel. Back in London, coming home to a newly renovated house and small hospital mortgaged to the hilt... Nora faced more challenges, the most dire was again the bias and rejection brought about by mistrust for her gender and abilities as well as envy and greed from her afflicted guardian's colleague and enemy. This one also presented a challenge to such conundrums as conflicts involving religion, in this case Catholicism, and the dilemma of choice between the life of the mother and that of her child... given the timeline when women had no say even if it was their bodies and health at stake... at least in this book's scenario, Lord Woodbine loved his wife and thus he chose to honour her wishes. All in all, a well~crafted drama... a bit of Romance thrown in... and women of courage trying to survive in a world ruled by men.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jazzie077

    The Surgeon's Daughter by Audrey Blake. Pub Date: May 10, 2022. Rating: 3 stars. What to say about this novel? I wanted to enjoy it so much because I love female leads in historical fiction, especially trailblazers who are "out of the norm" for the time period. But, this one just did not do it for me. I felt it was too "medically" and not enough emotion and demonstration of the main character Nora and her unique situation of being the only female student in her medical school class. There were s The Surgeon's Daughter by Audrey Blake. Pub Date: May 10, 2022. Rating: 3 stars. What to say about this novel? I wanted to enjoy it so much because I love female leads in historical fiction, especially trailblazers who are "out of the norm" for the time period. But, this one just did not do it for me. I felt it was too "medically" and not enough emotion and demonstration of the main character Nora and her unique situation of being the only female student in her medical school class. There were scenes of pure medical situations that I thought could have been toned down, but then again the novel is about the medical profession. I really wanted to love this one, but it fell short for me. Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for this e-arc in exchange for my honest review. #thesurgeonsdaughter #netgalley #sourcebookslandmark

  24. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    In this historical fiction novel, set in the 19th century, Nora Beady is a woman who dreams of being surgeon and had years of study and observation in the offices of her mentor and patron Doctor Horace Croft. After challenges and controversy present in London, she flees to Bologna, Italy where she is the only female medical student. There she is often treated poorly by her male classmates and professors but is also connected with female Doctor Magdelena Morenco who mentors her in the care for pr In this historical fiction novel, set in the 19th century, Nora Beady is a woman who dreams of being surgeon and had years of study and observation in the offices of her mentor and patron Doctor Horace Croft. After challenges and controversy present in London, she flees to Bologna, Italy where she is the only female medical student. There she is often treated poorly by her male classmates and professors but is also connected with female Doctor Magdelena Morenco who mentors her in the care for pregnant women including the use of the lifesaving, but rarely used, cesarean section. This novel is the work of two authors, Jaima Fixsen and Regina Sims writing under the pen name of Audrey Blake. I was not sure what to expect from this book before I started reading, but soon it hooked me in, and I was compelled to finish it in a single day! This novel was a much-appreciated break from the WWI and WWII books that dominate the historical fiction genre and educated me about the life experiences of women in a society before this much needed medical procedure was widely available. I look forward to reading future books by these authors and thank you to Net Galley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the early review copy.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Oh, this book. It's brilliant. The first book was fantastic, and this one followed suit. The writing is truly something; it all feels effortless, though I'm sure it was carefully crafted, as all great writing is. The prose, the pacing, the emotion - it was all there for me. Jaima and Regina, whose combined efforts are housed under the pen name Audrey Blake, hats off to you! Oh, this book. It's brilliant. The first book was fantastic, and this one followed suit. The writing is truly something; it all feels effortless, though I'm sure it was carefully crafted, as all great writing is. The prose, the pacing, the emotion - it was all there for me. Jaima and Regina, whose combined efforts are housed under the pen name Audrey Blake, hats off to you!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    3.5 rounded up This was a really interesting historical fiction book about one woman's quest to become a physician and her role helping with the birth and teaching of caesarean section surgeries. Set mainly in 19th century Bologna, Nora Beady is the only female student at a prestigious medical school. She has to compete against her peers and all the men who think she doesn't belong or should just be a nurse. Perfect for fans of books like The doctors Blackwell by Janice P. Nimura. I did find the 3.5 rounded up This was a really interesting historical fiction book about one woman's quest to become a physician and her role helping with the birth and teaching of caesarean section surgeries. Set mainly in 19th century Bologna, Nora Beady is the only female student at a prestigious medical school. She has to compete against her peers and all the men who think she doesn't belong or should just be a nurse. Perfect for fans of books like The doctors Blackwell by Janice P. Nimura. I did find the story dragged a bit and I wasn't overly invested in Nora's personal relationships. That said, I found the history of Caesarean section surgery very fascinating and not something I've seen in fiction much or at all before. Much thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance listening copy!

  27. 4 out of 5

    maryreadstoomuch

    Pub date: 5/10/22 Genre: historical fiction, women in STEM In one sentence: Nora Beady is a surgeon, whether society likes it or not, and meeting a female patient in need of a c-section will change her life forever. I love books about women in STEM - this one reminded me a lot of Her Hidden Genius by Marie Benedict, which I also loved. The beginning is a bit slow-paced, but the action revs up in the last 25% of the book. Nora was a wonderful MC - I loved seeing her struggle and persevere at medical Pub date: 5/10/22 Genre: historical fiction, women in STEM In one sentence: Nora Beady is a surgeon, whether society likes it or not, and meeting a female patient in need of a c-section will change her life forever. I love books about women in STEM - this one reminded me a lot of Her Hidden Genius by Marie Benedict, which I also loved. The beginning is a bit slow-paced, but the action revs up in the last 25% of the book. Nora was a wonderful MC - I loved seeing her struggle and persevere at medical school in Bologna. The reader also gets the perspective of Daniel, Nora's surgeon beloved back in London - these two are made for each other. If you like historical fiction with a heavy helping of science, I'd recommend this one! Both text and audio are winners in my book. Bonus: this book is actually a sequel, but it works well as a standalone. Book one is The Girl in His Shadow, and I plan to read it soon! Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for my ARC and Recorded Books for my ALC (both on NetGalley). Posted to Goodreads and Instagram 5/8/22.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Colby Damon

    Before I started reading this, I was unaware that it was the second book in a series. That being said, you needn’t read the first book to understand the story in this one. The story has a dual timeline and follows Nora Beady who is attempting to earn her medical degree in Bologna at a time when women were not welcomed readily into medicine. It also follows her beau, Daniel through the trials and tribulations of being an early surgeon in London. I really enjoyed listening to the descriptions of t Before I started reading this, I was unaware that it was the second book in a series. That being said, you needn’t read the first book to understand the story in this one. The story has a dual timeline and follows Nora Beady who is attempting to earn her medical degree in Bologna at a time when women were not welcomed readily into medicine. It also follows her beau, Daniel through the trials and tribulations of being an early surgeon in London. I really enjoyed listening to the descriptions of the medicine and surgeries being performed and how they were the pioneer to some procedures that are readily done today. It’s hard to believe that these surgeries were performed with out anesthesia in some cases, without sterilizing instruments, taking universal precautions, etc. As a medical professional myself, the history of medicine and how far we’ve come is fascinating. I would’ve enjoyed hearing more of the details regarding other surgeries and cases in the book. Overall, I enjoyed this book and would be interested in reading any other stories about these characters. I received this book as an ARC audiobook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest and fair review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    meant to teach (Sarah)

    I loved the first novel about Nora Beady’s attempts to practice medicine during a time when females were forbidden to. This new novel sees Nora perusing her medical degree in Italy, a country where, at the time, women were permitted to practice medicine. While this novel had elements from the first book that I continued to enjoy in the second - descriptions of early medical practices and a strong female character - it lacked the same emotional connections between the characters I loved in the fi I loved the first novel about Nora Beady’s attempts to practice medicine during a time when females were forbidden to. This new novel sees Nora perusing her medical degree in Italy, a country where, at the time, women were permitted to practice medicine. While this novel had elements from the first book that I continued to enjoy in the second - descriptions of early medical practices and a strong female character - it lacked the same emotional connections between the characters I loved in the first novel (at least until the end when they are all reunited). However, I enjoyed reading on in Nora’s adventures and would recommend this book to students with an interest in the sciences and medicine.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shia

    Spectacular! I loved Nora’s journey and dedication to earn her medical degree in a patriarchal society bent on male supremacy. This is definitely one of my favorite historical fiction novels. I enjoyed learned about the early developments of the C-section and really connected to these characters especially when they suffered from fatal diseases we take for granted today. It’s amazing how advanced we’ve become and for all of the medical discoveries that allowed us to help people survive today.

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