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).