Tuesday, July 20, 2010

93 - My Name is Mary Sutter; Robin Oliveira




















What can I say that hasn't already been said about this amazing debut novel:  My Name is Mary Sutter?  It's a MUST read for historical novel fans.  The novel in rich in Civil War detail. It's a story that follows the life of Mary Sutter and her family, beginning in Albany, NY.  Mary is a midwife, but she longs to be a surgeon, but of course what woman could ever make it as a surgeon, at least not in the 1860's. Mary was denied entrance into the field because of her sex. In fact on the eve of the Civil War her application to Albany Medical School was rejected. However, Mary is not a woman who gives up easily.

As the Civil War begins, Dorthea Dix puts out a call for nurses. Mary decides to leave her family in Albany and head out to Washington, DC, to rise to the challenge.  Her midwife skills became helpful to her, as it isn't long before the war becomes a bloody battlefield, and those providing care for the wounded are ill prepared for the job.  The make shift hospitals lacked proper supplies, personnel and training.  Even though this is a work of fiction it demonstrates just how terrible the conditions were for all involved.

The novel is told in the third person, so I thought  the title, "My Name is Mary Sutter" was a bit odd. Honestly though,  no matter what the title of this novel had been, it's the writing and the story itself that makes it wonderful. It's about family, it's about unrequited loved, it's about the horrors of war, and it's just a fascinating novel in every way.  Mary is a memorable character, and a heroine you will not easily forget.  The author, Robin Oliveria must have spent an incredible amount of time doing research for this book, and that attention to detail shows through and through. There were a few parts that made my stomach feel a bit queasy, but you can skim over that if it bothers you.  I will be looking forward to more books by this talented new author. Be sure to read this one - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
RATING - 5/5 stars
(This book was sent to me free of charge by the publisher).

31 comments:

  1. Ah, this does sound fascinating. And I love historical fiction. Great review!

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  2. Yes this book has got very good reviews and thanks for your own review.

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  3. The title does seem odd since the book is told in the third person, but the book sounds absolutely amazing!

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  4. I look forward to reading this one. My daughter is a nurse and these types stories are always of interest to me. Glad it worked so well for you, Diane.

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  5. I don't read that many historical novels, but this one does sound interesting. I may have to give it a try.

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  6. I loved this novel. I was lucky enough to meet the author...
    http://bagsbooksandbonjovi.blogspot.com/2010/06/my-name-is-mary-sutter.html

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  7. Well on your recommendation I will add it to my wish list. Thanks for the wonderful review.

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  8. I so need to run out and get this one!! Sounds like an awesome and rewarding read.

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  9. I have heard really good things about this book and I am glad that you enjoyed it!

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  10. I loved this book. It's one of my favorites for the year. I can't believe this is the author's first book! Stunning debut!!

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  12. I've been eying this one for quite some time! Great review! I want to read it even more now!

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  13. I just finished reading it and my review will be up shortly. What an unforgettable book!

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  14. I do love historical fiction! So looking forward to reading this at some point!

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  15. I'd missed reviews of this one up until now, but it's on my WL now!

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  16. You are right about the title sounding weird. You would definitely expect it to be written in first person.

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  17. Diane, sounds like a good one! Thanks for the review!

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  18. Diane, sounds like a good one! Thanks for the review!

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  19. This sounds great!! It's going on my list - thanks for the review!

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  20. I'm so glad to hear you lived this one! I picked up a copy at ALA, and I'm really looking forward to it.

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  21. I loved this book and thought it was a really solid read. You are right about it being able to make you a bit queasy at times though! I think Mary is probably one of the most determined characters I have ever read on the page of a book.

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  22. I have about 80 pages left to read and absolutely love this novel!

    Hmmm- interesting point about the title. I think that it works, because it is an assertion. Throughout the novel Mary fights to express her voice/vision/dream and the title is a strong re-enforcement of that in a story told in the third-person. Does that make sense?

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  23. I have not seen one bad review for this book! I used to read alot of historical fiction but lately I have not read much. After your glowing review I think this book will have to make it's way into my home. Sounds like a must read for me! Thanks for the great review!

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  24. Great review, Diane! I enjoy historical fiction but I really haven't read much set around that time period. Definitely one for the wishlist!

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  25. I think you're the one who brought my attention to this book and now your review has elevated it to a must read. I love historical fiction like this.

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  26. This looks wonderful. I love a strong woman character.

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  27. I'm reading this as we speak. Great review and so far I am in total agreement. This is a must for historical fiction fans.

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  28. I'm reading this as we speak. Great review and so far I am in total agreement. This is a must for historical fiction fans.

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  29. What a wonderful review! This sounds like a really great read. I love historical fiction and the Civil War Era is definitely one of the more interesting periods of American history. Even more, I love a strong woman character who fights to follow her passions even when conventions told her she can't.

    Jennifer @ www.justicejennifer.com

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  30. My Novel Reviews...your point regarding the title makes perfect sense as you explained it. She constantly needed to assert herself until people finally listened...EXCELLENT Point!

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  31. Oh, I'm glad you reviewed this one. I saw it when we were on vacation and wanted to get it so badly (my budget is only for paperbacks, though, usually used...so I've got a wait ahead!). Good to know it's as good as it looks.

    Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog!

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