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The Surgeon's Daughter

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This book did not have a fair chance with me since I had not read the prequel. A forewarning that is was a follow-up to a previous book or better summaries woven into the account would have helped. With this background, I do not feel qualified to give an accurate review.
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Wow, do I ever feel more knowledgeable about the medical field in the 19th century now! I thoroughly enjoyed following Nora through her journey to become a surgeon.

My one complaint is that this book is not marketed as a sequel when it definitely is one. I paused my reading at 10% and went and read The Girl in His Shadow (which I loved and gave 5 stars) and then came back to finish this one after things made so much more sense.

The descriptions of 19th century surgeries where very descriptive, I imagine some people struggling with that if they are squeamish but I found them fascinating (with a few making even me feel the need to skim a paragraph or two), the research that went into writing this book is evident.

I eagerly await when the duo that makes up Audrey Blake releases another book!
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This book was a great follow up to the previous book in the series. I do think you should read them in order to fully understand Nora’s journey. It wrapped things up nicely and I was so happy to see Nora evolve as a doctor and as an independent woman. I received a free copy of this book from netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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The Surgeon's Daughter by Audrey Blake. Pub Date: May 10, 2022. Rating: 3 stars. What to say about this novel? I wanted to enjoy it so much because I love female leads in historical fiction, especially trailblazers who are "out of the norm" for the time period. But, this one just did not do it for me. I felt it was too "medically" and not enough emotion and demonstration of the main character Nora and her unique situation of being the only female student in her medical school class. There were scenes of pure medical situations that I thought could have been toned down, but then again the novel is about the medical profession. I really wanted to love this one, but it fell short for me. Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for this e-arc in exchange for my honest review. #thesurgeonsdaughter #netgalley #sourcebookslandmark
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the early read/listen.  The characters were all likable. Narrator did a great job telling the story and giving each character their own voice. Will recommend.
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I really enjoyed this book! The main character Nora was a fascinating woman who pushed herself and pushed boundaries. I loved her relationships with her adoptive father, her fiance, her peers, her mentors and her patients. The struggles she experienced trying to excel and that other female characters experienced are unfortunately still present today. The historical medical information was extremely Interesting and accurate. Great historical fiction.
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#netgalley #thesurgeon'sdaughter
This book is brilliant, I enjoyed the first The girl in his shadow and this one I absolutely adored, I love reading medical fiction and this one is also historical so it is very different to these days in the medical field. Also about Nora and how back then women really had to work hard to become doctors. Historical, medical, romance, suspense and beautifully written 5/5 stars
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Even better than book 1 (The Girl in His Shadow)!
Nora is now attending the University of Bologna to become a surgeon. Daniel stayed in London with Horace. All through the novel, we follow all three of them, one chapter devoted to Daniel and Horace, one chapter to Nora. I found this very interesting as I could follow Nora's education as well as Daniel and Horace 's work in London focused on diphtheria.
The University of Bologna accepts women as students: is Nora fully accepted as a student though, or is she again impeded by her gender? Will she go on having the courage to practice surgery knowing that the patients risk their lives under her knife? This is indeed a harsh decision surgeons had to live with daily aware of the deadly risk of infections. This was very well rendered by the authors (there are 2 of them). Full of suspense, tension, this novel was so completely absorbing that I read it in two days.

I received a digital ARC of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Nora Beady loses her family at a young age and is taken in by Dr. Horace Croft.  Under his tutelage, she learns surgical skills and anesthesia.  However, in the 18th century, females were not allowed to study medicine in England, so Nora travels to Bologna.  There she enrolls in medical school where she is constantly underestimated by her peers and ignored by her professors.  Then she meets Dr. Magdalena Marenco, one of the only female doctors at the time and renowned in her field of obstetrics.  Together, they develop a groundbreaking new surgery, the Cesarean section.   Once she obtains her degree, Nora heads back to England to continue her work with Dr. Horace Croft.

I was super excited to read this book as a female, as a mom, and as a woman in a traditionally male dominated field.  I have 3 beautiful little ones (all born via Cesarean section), so this has more of a special meaning to me.  But I found myself unfulfilled by the book.  I was left wishing for more.  More insight into what was going on in Nora’s head.  More interactions with her peers and mentors.  More emotion.  Just more.  

Overall, I give the book 3 stars.
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The Surgeon’s Daughter, Audrey Blake (5/10/22)

In this historical fiction novel, set in the 19th century, Nora Beady is a woman who dreams of being surgeon and had years of study and observation in the offices of her mentor and patron Doctor Horace Croft.   After challenges and controversy present in London, she flees to Bologna, Italy where she is the only female medical student.  There she is often treated poorly by her male classmates and professors but is also connected with female Doctor Magdelena Morenco who mentors her in the care for pregnant women including the use of the lifesaving, but rarely used, cesarean section.  

This debut novel is the work of two authors, Jaima Fixsen and Regina Sims writing under the pen name of Audrey Blake.  I was not sure what to expect from this book before I started reading, but soon it hooked me in, and I was compelled to finish it in a single day!  This novel was a much-appreciated break from the WWI and WWII books that dominate the historical fiction genre and educated me about the life experiences of women in a society before this much needed medical procedure was widely available.  

I look forward to reading future books by these authors and thank you to Net Galley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the early review copy.
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The Surgeon's Daughter by Audrey Blake is Historical Medical Fiction set in mid 19th Century Bologna and England. 
This book is the exciting story of a young woman determined to become a Physician in a time when that was forbidden in England. I loved Audrey Blake’s first book and was delighted to read her new book. Excellent medical details and procedures on the training of medical students. Women had to work even harder than men to achieve their medical degrees. Even after obtaining their degree they had to struggle in licensing in medical practice and cultural prejudices.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.  I appreciate the opportunity and thank the author and publisher for allowing me to read, enjoy and review this book. 5 Stars
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It's the mid 1800's when Nora goes to medical school in Bologna, Italy--which is NOT the norm for women! She faces all the problems one would assume she might in her position. Men expecting certain behaviors from her, men thinking she's dumb and incapable, and men thinking she should not be there but in the home and married. 

We also meet Daniel sho is a surgeon living in England, where Nora is from. They plan to get married after she finishes school and returns to help in the clinic. We follow the both of them in alternating chapters and see the medical and surgical problems they face.

Per the description I thought this book would be heavier on the cesarean surgery, but only a few were performed in this book, which were fascinating! I can't imagine the fear and concerns doctors and patients would feel regarding surgically removing the baby from the mother! There was a point where I cried for the mother as she was struggling with her own delivery (I've had 3 c-sections so it hit close to home in a small way). 

There was a bit of drag to the book where not a lot happened, but I loved the inspection of surgery in the mid 1800's and Italy itself! 

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for the advance e-copy of this book!
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Audrey Blake has done everything right with this follow-up to "The Girl in his Shadow." Nora Beady is one of the most captivating heroines in historical fiction, and her mentor, Dr. Magdalena Marenco, is a most welcome supporting character. She furthers Nora's arc as the only female student at medical school in Italy, by encouraging her, challenging her, and guiding her. The parallel storyline of Nora's friends in London never feels lacking, and it's quite delightful to see how they are able to grow independently of one another. This is a story with immersive settings, intriguing history, compelling medical drama, and unapologetic feminist themes. It's also full of heart and humour, with a cast of characters who begin to feel like family to the reader. Do not wait on this series! Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark and Audrey Blake for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Sent to Bologna to earn the medical degree she has no hope of receiving in England because she's a woman, Nora throws herself into her studies, but faces a range of obstacles and pitfalls, great and small. Will she ever be able to push through and win the degree she covets and the place at home in England that she longs for? Meanwhile, back at home, Daniel faces opposition from his boss at the hospital, the ill health of his mentor, Dr Croft, and serious money difficulties when Dr Croft overreaches himself in his passion for helping others. He wants to make a home Nora will be able to come back to and practice in, but success seems increasingly unlikely...

This isn't quite the sort of book I generally read, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but it sounded interesting. And it was - but it was also realistic enough that the reader gets more than a glimpse of the heartbreaking life of a doctor prior to antibiotics and various medical advances. That, combined with Dr Croft's own health and money problems, made for a story that at times was not a very easy read, and indeed felt quite depressing. Such parts were at least partially balanced by moments of humour or inspiration, but while it felt an eye-opening and worthwhile read, it's still not a light or comfortable read (though there's nothing I found too graphic). Definitely one for the reader of more serious historical fiction. 

Note that I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and this is my considered opinion of the book.
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The Surgeon’s Daughter is a well written and engaging story about Nora, the adopted daughter of famous surgeon Horace Croft, who travels to Bologna to gain her medical degree. Nora is looked down upon because she is a woman trying to enter the medical field in the early 1800,’s. Throughout this book Nora learns about more than medical procedures. She learns about love, forgiveness and determination.
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From the first chapter, I'm hooked as Nora who had been experimenting with ether meets Magdalena Morenco who has been trying to develop new techniques to improve the Cesarean section.

I've really been enjoying the different medical related historical fiction I've been reading recently. I love learning about things like this and learning more about some of the women who challenged the norm to become doctors.
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Pub date: 5/10/22
Genre: historical fiction, women in STEM
In one sentence: Nora Beady is a surgeon, whether society likes it or not, and meeting a female patient in need of a c-section will change her life forever.

I love books about women in STEM - this one reminded me a lot of Her Hidden Genius by Marie Benedict, which I also loved. The beginning is a bit slow-paced, but the action revs up in the last 25% of the book. Nora was a wonderful MC - I loved seeing her struggle and persevere at medical school in Bologna. The reader also gets the perspective of Daniel, Nora's surgeon beloved back in London - these two are made for each other. 

If you like historical fiction with a heavy helping of science, I'd recommend this one! Both text and audio are winners in my book. 

Bonus: this book is actually a sequel, but it works well as a standalone. Book one is The Girl in His Shadow, and I plan to read it soon!

Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for my ARC and Recorded Books for my ALC (both on NetGalley).
Posted to Goodreads and Instagram 5/8/22.
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The story continues with Nora Beady, the heroine of Audrey Blake’s debut novel The Girl In His Shadow, trailblazing in Italy as she tries to acquire a medical degree at a time when women in 19th century Britain could not serve in roles more than nurse or midwife, and Nora’s talents as a physician & surgeon would have complained gone to waste. She maneuvers life in different country where she barely knows the language, and has to still face the misogyny of her male colleagues, yet we notice her evolving confidence and skills with pride, and she get support from new allies. The book does not ignore the love she left behind in England. The book is well paced, the historical accuracy is masterful and the character development is very satisfying. It was a home run for me. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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The year is 1847 and Nora is determined to earn her medical degree from the University of Bologna. The Surgeon’s Daughter is the sequel to The Girl in His Shadow. I did not realize this was a sequel before I requested it—likely, I would not have requested if I had known that, but I am so glad I had the opportunity to read and review this book. The Surgeon’s Daughter can be read as a stand-alone book. Blake gives the reader enough background information so the story flows seamlessly. The story primarily follows Nora and her fight to earn her degree. She faces discrimination from men and women and has to work harder than her peers to demonstrate her worth. The book opens with an intense C-section performed by the only female doctor at the university, Dr. Magdalena Marenco. Be ready for a rollercoaster of emotions and make sure you carve out time to read this in one sitting. I could not put this book down—it was captivating. 

The book naturally explores women’s rights, but it discusses the inequalities between classes, opportunities in different countries, the role of religion in medicine, and the role of grief and pain in life. The first part of the story flips between Nora’s point of view and her that of her fiancé, Daniel, who is in London. The last part of the book takes place back in London. Much of the book is about relationships—relationships between doctor and patient, friends, colleagues, lovers, spouses, and family members. The writing was engaging and fluid. The medical scenes were fascinating and felt accurate, but I am no doctor. However, if you get squeamish, this book is not for you (or simply skim over the medical procedures).

My favorite part of the book was when Dr. Marenco discusses women’s role at the bridge between life and death. I thought that scene was beautiful and so meaningful, both to Nora, but it still applies to women today. 

I imagine, this is part of a trilogy. The ending was satisfactory and complete, but the authors left themselves space to write another book, which I hope they do. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the ARC! I will be on the lookout for future books from Blake.
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Nora is determined to become a physician - a surgeon- but it's the 19th century and she's had ro leave England for Bologna to get her degree.  Back in London, her guardian and mentor Dr. Horace Croft and Daniel, the man she loves, are struggling with a rash of diphtheria patients and the ire of Dr. Vickery, Horace's rival who will do anything to crush him.  Those who have read The Girl in His Shadow will immediately recognize these and other characters (Mrs Phipps!) and will be pleased to follow them on their journeys but those new to them will find this equally gripping.  The novel alternates between London and Bologna, where Nora is struggling with both her peers and her mentors.  She has an advantage others do not- she's worked out how to use ether more effectively and she's got a natural skill.  Dr. Magdalena Mourenco eventually allows her to assist on c-sections, which become her specialty.  This has great (if sometimes gory or distressing) atmospherics and it's incredibly educational (don't miss the afterword) but it soars in the characters.  No spoilers but know that Blake is realistic about life and death during this time period.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  It's a great read and here's hoping there's another chapter in Nora and Daniel's story.
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