My Name Is Mary Sutter

By Robin Oliveira
(Viking Adult, Hardcover, 9780670021673, 384pp.)

Publication Date: May 13, 2010

Other Editions of This Title: Compact Disc, Paperback, Paperback, Hardcover

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall '12 Reading Group List
“On the eve of the Civil War, Albany midwife Mary Sutter desperately wants to be a surgeon. When Dorothea Dix puts out a call for nurses, Mary leaves her family behind and rushes to Washington. Told from the point of view of nurses, family members, and politicians, this novel is an enthralling, exquisitely crafted debut, a story for lovers of historical fiction as well as anyone who believes in the power of the human spirit.”
-- Erin Kurup, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the May 2010 Indie Next List


Description

An enthralling historical novel about a young woman's struggle to become a doctor during the Civil War

In this stunning first novel, 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 her recent heartbreak- Mary leaves home and 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 fall unwittingly in love with Mary's courage, will, and stubbornness in the face of suffering-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.

Like Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain and Robert Hicks's The Widow of the South, My Name Is Mary Sutter powerfully evokes the atmosphere of the period. Rich with historical detail (including marvelous depictions of Lincoln, Dorothea Dix, General McClellan, and John Hay among others), and full of the tragedies and challenges of wartime, 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 readers everywhere.




About the Author

Robin Oliveria received an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and was awarded the James Jones First Novel Fellowship for a work-in-progress for My Name Is Mary Sutter. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband and two children.




Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. The end of My Name Is Mary Sutter is both satisfying and surprising. What was your response to the conclusion of each character's story?




Praise For My Name Is Mary Sutter

A "skillful debut ..."
-The Daily Beast

" ...riveting saga about trying to break a 19th-century glass ceiling."
-Good Housekeeping

"Oliveira's debut novel is magnificent historical fiction."
-Bookpage

"The language is beautiful and the story will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout ..."
-(Albany) Times Union

" ...compelling voice ... does a splendid job of reminding us how much the known world has changed ... and how much has not."
-(Portland) Oregonian

"Oliveira deftly depicts the chaotic aftermath of battles and develops her own characters while incorporating military and political leaders of the time. The historic details enrich the narrative without overshadowing Mary's struggles. This well-written and compelling debut will engage all readers of historical fiction, especially those interested in the Civil War."
-Library Journal

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