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My Name Is Mary Sutter: A Novel by Robin…

My Name Is Mary Sutter: A Novel (edition 2010)

by Robin Oliveira

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8436410,689 (3.77)45
Title:My Name Is Mary Sutter: A Novel
Authors:Robin Oliveira
Info:Viking Adult (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Audio books, Read but unowned
Tags:historical fiction, civil war

Work details

My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira

  1. 30
    The March by E. L. Doctorow (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Both novels show the medical side of the war, from the surgeon's and nurses points of view, albeit that the view in Mary Sutter is much grittier.
  2. 10
    The Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Both these books reminded me of how lucky I was to be born in the latter part of the 20th Century when medicine had been so greatly improved.
  3. 10
    Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  4. 00
    The Birth House by Ami McKay (saratoga99)
  5. 00
    The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks (BookshelfMonstrosity)

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» See also 45 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
Mary Sutter is a midwife who wants to know more about the human body works. She tries to get into medical schools, but is not even considered because she is a woman. She finally finds a doctor to apprentice with at the Union Hotel, turned hospital in the early days of the Civil War. The author's description of the hospitals, the wounds, and the primitive nature of medicine at the time are eye-opening. It's amazing anyone survived. The battle scenes and conditions of the soldiers are also not at all romanticized. This is an interesting read, although Mary Sutter herself is a bit beyond belief as she sacrifices so much for the soldiers. As a epilogue, we see her a few years after the war with her own medical practice in Manhattan, her remaining family gathered around her, and her old mentor finding her to pledge his undying love. I kind of liked her single better. ( )
  mojomomma | Sep 25, 2015 |
Lately I have been cruising through audio books, but this one took awhile. While I wanted to know what was going to happen, there were so many parts that were just so tedious. Perhaps this is a book better read than listened to. The narrator was good with the different voices, but very slow. Also, much of the descriptions were very repetitive. Clearly, the author really wants us to know that Mary was not an attractive woman by conventional standards. ( )
  spincerely | Apr 26, 2015 |
Update May 14 - My library already has a copy of this! Yay!

Received as a giveaway here - thank you! So far this ARC is interesting, if a little dry. I'm not sure of by ability to judge because the only stuff I've read remotely like it, I believe, are Tracy Chevalier's works.

Update - Got more engaging about halfway. Definitely recommended for fans of historical fiction and anyone who interested in a smart story and meaningful characters. Well-researched; educational. Thank you very much for giving me a chance to read something I probably would never have picked up otherwise. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
Mary, a midwife, wants to become a doctor at a time when women couldn't be doctors. She forces a doctor to take her on and teach her in a hospital that ends up taking a ton of wounded soldiers. Gruesome, realistic and wonderful ( )
  jenzbaker | Jan 13, 2015 |
Civil War era historical fiction. I like this time period. Good book for the most part but not necessary to have the main character meeting President Lincoln, Secretary of State John Hay, and be Dorothea Dix's first applicant, not to mention a surgeon doing amputations after the battle of Antietam. I prefer books to be more realistic when they are historical fiction. ( )
  cindyb29 | Jan 12, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
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For Drew, whose love and generosity never falter,
and for my mother,
who bequeathed me her muse
First words
"Are you Mary Sutter?"
When they were younger, they played with the children of the laboring mother; when they were older, they hauled and boiled water, listened to birthing cries in houses high and low, becoming accustomed to joy being predicted on misery. This accounted for their assured nature; prescient, possessed, they would later feel at home anywhere and in the face of anything.
Mary unfurled was formidable and her family all knew it and, it seemed, sometimes despaired of it.
Mary inhaled the information her mother dispensed. Centuries of wisdom resided in Amelia's muscles. Often, when Mary asked questions, Amelia could not answer unless she was in the act itself, able to remember only as she performed. Instinct as textbook.
Mary could see him making the comparison, not unlike everyone else who ever heard the word twin in the presence of the two of them. The envy she thought she had mastered years ago opened inside her, swelling and pressing against her diaphragm, making it hard to breathe while she tallied which of her inadequacies stood out the most...
January of 1862, when Jenny was due, would be the busiest month for midwives in ten years. Farewell babies, they would be called. Three months later, in April, there would be another round of newborns nine months after Lincoln called for yet another hundred thousand men.
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Book description
Twenty-year-old Mary Sutter, a midwife who dreams of becoming a surgeon, leaves her home in Albany, New York, and travels to Washington, D.C., where she is taken on as an assistant to chief surgeon William Stipp at a Union hospital, and earns his admiration and love.
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Traveling to Civil War-era Washington, D.C., to tend wounded soldiers and pursue her dream of becoming a surgeon, headstrong midwife Mary receives guidance from two smitten doctors and resists her mother's pleas for her to return home.

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2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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