The Surgeon’s Daughter by Audrey Blake
Ready for one of my most anticipated reads of 2022?
The Surgeon’s Daughter is the follow-up novel to The Girl in His Shadow (which was one of my favorite reads from 2021!) Last year, I completely fell in love with this moving and inspirational story, and I wasn’t ready to part ways with the characters. So, imagine my delight when I received an advance copy of the sequel!
And the best news? Book two absolutely lived up to my expectations! Does it get any better than that?
Sequels are always tricky territory for me, especially when I was so enraptured by the first book. But I was thrilled to find that The Surgeon’s Daughter didn’t disappoint! Picking up where The Girl in His Shadow left off, I found myself immediately transported back to Nora’s world of medicine.
One of the things I love so much about Audrey Blake’s work is the writing style. The writing is detailed and beautiful, creating a gorgeous historical setting that I can get lost in. It’s also intricately researched. The medical stories are gritty but coated in authenticity, and I love how this specific storyline gave us a greater glimpse into Nora’s heart for her patients and her unwavering passion for medicine.
In addition to Nora’s advancing medical career, we also got to dive back into the lives of other familiar characters too: Daniel, Horace Croft and even… the perfect medical nemesis, Vickery. Gack! You know a book is well-written when you want to jump into the pages and punch a villain in the nose!
My one note is that I did find the beginning of this book a little slower than expected. (Although that might also just have been me savoring a book that I already didn’t want to end!) Once it got going, however, I was fully immersed in in story and I had no problems with the pacing.
I would also say that while this book can be read as a standalone, I definitely recommend getting the “full experience” by grabbing a copy of The Girl in His Shadow first!
This novel is full of heart and perseverance, courage and determination; and I wholeheartedly recommend The Surgeon’s Daughter to historical fiction fans. I would certainly love to see more work by these two talented authors!
Readers who enjoy historical fiction or medical history.
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Book provided courtesy of the publisher, Sourcebooks. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the book:
(From the publisher) 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. Under constant scrutiny, Nora’s successes are taken for granted; her mistakes used as proof that women aren’t suited to the field.
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.