23 September 2022

The Surgeon's Daughter by Audrey Blake Review! @AudreyBlakeBooks, @Bookmarked, and #TheSurgeonsDaughter.


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.

Audrey Blake has a split personality--because she is the creative alter ego of the writing duo Jaima Fixsen and Regina Sirois, two authors who met as finalists of a writing contest and have been writing together happily ever since. They share a love of history, nature, literature, and stories of redoubtable women. Both are prairie girls: Jaima hails from Alberta, Canada, and Regina calls the wheatfields of Kansas home.

My Thoughts

The Surgeon's Daughter is the historical fiction tale of Nora Beady who is the only female student at a medical school in Bologna, Italy. This is the 19th century and women were supposed to stay at home in the kitchen and have babies.

Because of these stuffy ideas by men, Nora has a difficult time, not learning to be a doctor but overcoming the male attitude. She is ridiculed wherever she goes in school. She wants to become a licensed physician so she can practice with her boyfriend in England. She was not allowed to attend medical school there.

She wants to graduate sooner than planned and is told that she needs to study under Magdalena Morenco the only female doctor on staff. With Magdalena's help, she learns about performing the c-section on women who are having a hard time delivering the normal way.  Nora is also an expert on the use of ether. 

This book focuses on the lengths that Nora will go to to be acknowledged as the fine doctor that she aspires to be. 

We also learn of Nora's boyfriend, Daniel who is also a doctor and is having difficulties with the head of the hospital on how to treat diphtheria children. This story explores the times with the pressures on women to do what is expected of them. 

I love a good story about strong women and this one is definitely that. How a young woman rises to the top of her class of skeptical men.  I really enjoyed it.

I give it 4 stars.

I received a copy of the book for review purposes only.

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