My Name Is Mary Sutter: A Novel

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Penguin, May 13, 2010 - Fiction - 384 pages
49 Reviews
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.

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User Review  - Olivermagnus - LibraryThing

My Name is Mary Sutter is the story of a New York midwife who becomes a nurse to soldiers of the Union Army, men who were more likely to die from infections than they were from gunshots. Mary's ... Read full review

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User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

Audio performed by Kimberly Farr 3.5 Stars This is a work of historical fiction, centering on Mary Sutter, a midwife in Albany, New York, who is determined to become a surgeon. As the novel opens the ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

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.

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