"This is an intense, suspenseful, and insightful read about the challenges both women and doctors faced in the 19th century...Our heroine rises to the challenge with courage and determination." —Historical Novel Society
From the USA Today bestselling author of The Girl in His Shadow comes a riveting historical fiction novel about the women in medicine who changed the world forever.
Women's work is a matter of life and death.
Nora Beady, the only female student at a prestigious medical school in Bologna, is a rarity. In the 19th century women are expected to remain at home and raise children, so her unconventional, indelicate ambitions to become a licensed surgeon offend the men around her.
Everything changes when she allies herself with Magdalena Morenco, the sole female doctor on-staff. Together the two women develop new techniques to improve a groundbreaking surgery: the Cesarean section. It's a highly dangerous procedure and the research is grueling, but even worse is the vitriolic response from men. Most don't trust the findings of women, and many can choose to deny their wives medical care.
Already facing resistance on all sides, Nora is shaken when she meets a patient who will die without the surgery. If the procedure is successful, her work could change the world. But a failure could cost everything: precious lives, Nora's career, and the role women will be allowed to play in medicine.
Perfect for book clubs and for fans of Marie Benedict, Tracey Enerson Wood, and Sarah Penner comes a captivating celebration of women healthcare workers throughout history.
About the Author
AUDREY BLAKE has a split personality— because she is the creative alter ego of Regina Sirois and Jaima Fixsen, two authors who met online in a survivor style writing contest. They live 1500 miles apart, but both are prairie girls: Jaima hails from Alberta, Canada, and Regina from the wheatfields of Kansas. Both are addicted to history, words, and stories of redoubtable women, and agree that their friendship, better and longer lasting than any other prize, is proof that good things happen in this random, crazy universe.
"This is an intense, suspenseful, and insightful read about the challenges both women and doctors faced in the 19th century...Our heroine rises to the challenge with courage and determination." — Historical Novel Society
"History comes to life in the dramatic account of Nora Beady's ascension in the medical world of Bologna...The depiction of women earning their place amongst the medical community and the every day concerns of young professionals will appeal to lovers of historical fiction, and the dash of passion and yearning will appeal to romantics." — Booklist
"I tore through Audrey Blake's The Surgeon's Daughter without pause. This richly detailed, expertly paced saga of the only female student attending a prestigious medical school in Italy brought into crystal focus the many obstacles a nineteenth century woman faced – at either end of the scalpel. In Nora Beady Blake has created a truly captivating heroine, for then and for now." — Sally Cabot Gunning, author of The Widow's War and Painting the Light