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My name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira
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My name is Mary Sutter (edition 2010)

by Robin Oliveira

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7626012,170 (3.77)43
Member:CaraZ
Title:My name is Mary Sutter
Authors:Robin Oliveira
Info:New York : Viking, 2010.
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My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira

  1. 20
    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. 00
    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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Mary Sutter is a brilliant, headstrong midwife from Albany, New York, who has aspirations of becoming a surgeon. Determined to overcome the inherent prejudices against women in medicine - and eager to escape her recent heartbreak - Mary leaves home and travels to Washington, D. C. to help tend to the legions of Civil War wounded. Under the guidance of William Stipp and James Blevins - two surgeons who unwittingly fall in love with Mary's courage, will, and stubbornness in the face of suffering - and resisting her mother's desperate pleas for her to come home and assist with the birth of her twin sister's baby, Mary pursues her medical career in the desperately overwhelmed hospitals of Washington.

In this stunning debut novel, Robin Oliveira has created in the character of Mary Sutter, a truly unforgettable heroine whose unwavering determination and startling vulnerability will resonate with readers everywhere. My Name is Mary Sutter: A Novel by Robin Oliveira powerfully evokes the atmosphere of the period. Rich with historical detail - including marvelous depictions of such individuals as Abraham Lincoln, Dorothea Dix, General McClellan, and John Hay among others - as well as immersed in the tragedies and challenges of wartime, My Name is Mary Sutter is an exceptional novel.

I must say that I found this to be an absolutely brilliant book. It really brought home to me not only the suffering and hopelessness of war, but also the immense courage and indomitable strength that human beings are capable of. This book resonated with me and I'm eagerly awaiting Ms. Oliveira's next book I Always Loved You, with baited breath. I give My Name is Mary Sutter: A Novel an A+! - What a debut! ( )
  moonshineandrosefire | Jul 26, 2014 |
Really well written book. The language was beautifully descriptive and really conveyed a sense of time and place. Having toured Antietam myself a year or two ago I had a pretty good idea of how that battle went, down to troop formations and the Sunken Road and Burnside's Bridge, etc. But the author brought the battle to life with her descriptions of the scene and the men and the carnage that occurred. I could vividly see the death and destruction in my mind. And then from the POV of the surgeons and specifically what the aftermath of the battles were like - it was haunting and heartbreaking for its grim reality. For me the author brought the civil war to life in all its wonderful horror.

The ending did leave me slightly unsatisfied I have to say, but being more realistic than say a typical romance, I was probably destined to feel that way. ( )
  emmytuck | Sep 27, 2013 |
  cherryblossommj | May 28, 2013 |
I do not usually reach for historical fiction but this was more than interesting in terms of the medical information at that time along with all of the political/war details. Using Mary's life against this backdrop made for a fascinating story. ( )
  nyiper | Apr 6, 2013 |
I could never be a nurse in a war. ( )
  E.J | Apr 3, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Drew, whose love and generosity never falter,
and for my mother,
who bequeathed me her muse
First words
"Are you Mary Sutter?"
Quotations
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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