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My Name is Mary Sutter

Cover of My Name is Mary Sutter

My Name is Mary Sutter

A Novel
"A magnificent Civil War epic, a saga of female liberation, and a gorgeous love story."
—Douglas Glover, author of Elle
In this stunning historical novel, which opens on the eve of the Civil War, Mary Sutter is a brilliant, headstrong midwife from Albany, New York, who dreams of becoming a surgeon. Determined to overcome the prejudices against women in medicine—and eager to run away from recent heartbreak—Mary travels to Washington, D.C., to help tend the legions of Civil War wounded. Under the guidance of William Stipp and James Blevens—two surgeons who unwittingly fall in love with Mary's courage, will, and stubbornness—and resisting her mother's pleas to return home to help with the birth of her twin sister's baby, Mary pursues her medical career in the desperately overwhelmed hospitals of the capital.
Rich with historical detail, My Name Is Mary Sutter is an exceptional novel. And, in Mary herself, Robin Oliveira has created a truly unforgettable heroine whose unwavering determination and vulnerability will resonate with listeners everywhere.
"A magnificent Civil War epic, a saga of female liberation, and a gorgeous love story."
—Douglas Glover, author of Elle
In this stunning historical novel, which opens on the eve of the Civil War, Mary Sutter is a brilliant, headstrong midwife from Albany, New York, who dreams of becoming a surgeon. Determined to overcome the prejudices against women in medicine—and eager to run away from recent heartbreak—Mary travels to Washington, D.C., to help tend the legions of Civil War wounded. Under the guidance of William Stipp and James Blevens—two surgeons who unwittingly fall in love with Mary's courage, will, and stubbornness—and resisting her mother's pleas to return home to help with the birth of her twin sister's baby, Mary pursues her medical career in the desperately overwhelmed hospitals of the capital.
Rich with historical detail, My Name Is Mary Sutter is an exceptional novel. And, in Mary herself, Robin Oliveira has created a truly unforgettable heroine whose unwavering determination and vulnerability will resonate with listeners everywhere.
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  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 15, 2010
    The Civil War offers a 20-year-old midwife who dreams of becoming a doctor the medical experience she craves, plus hard work and heartbreak, in this rich debut that takes readers from a small upstate New York doctor's office to a Union hospital overflowing with the wounded and dying. Though she's too young for the nursing corps, Mary Sutter goes to Washington, anyway, and, after a chance meeting with a presidential secretary, is led to the Union Hotel Hospital, where she assists chief surgeon William Stipp and becomes so integral to Stipp's work she ignores her mother's pleas to return home to deliver her sister's baby. From a variety of perspectives—Mary, Stipp, their families, and social, political, and military leaders—the novel offers readers a picture of a time of medical hardship, crisis, and opportunity. Oliveira depicts the amputation of a leg, the delivery of a baby, and soldierly life; these are among the fine details that set this novel above the gauzier variety of Civil War fiction. The focus on often horrific medicine and the women who practiced it against all odds makes for compelling reading.

  • AudioFile Magazine Kimberly Farr narrates this remarkable Civil War novel with refinement and precision. Mary Sutter is an appealing and capable protagonist--yet she's far from perfect. Farr gives her voice a gentle strength. A midwife who longs to be a surgeon but is perpetually refused entrance to medical school, Mary finds opportunity in the war to learn about medicine. But it also forces her to confront the imperfections of her family and to discover her ability to endure the ordeals she encounters. Farr successfully portrays a wide range of characters--from Abraham Lincoln to Mary's twin sister, Jenny--using subtle variations to differentiate their individual voices. Fans of historical fiction will be hard-pressed to find better. K.O. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine
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My Name is Mary Sutter
My Name is Mary Sutter
A Novel
Robin Oliveira
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