Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Name Is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira

This is on my list for War Through The Generations: US Civil War. I was intrigued by a woman trying to be a doctor during the American Civil War. Actually Mary Sutter is a midwife, trying to be a surgeon.
What I enjoyed about this book is that it was told from multiple perspectives in one narrative. The perspective bounced from Mary to Mr Lincoln to Dr Stipp back to Mary. There were several characters to keep track of but each one was framed so beautifully I wasn't even confused. At times it was chaotic like war but done so gracefully that it felt like a dance.
The story carries Mary from the beginning of the war trying to find a surgeon who will teach her. It's male dominated profession and the surgeons she asks for help either ignore her or mock her. But as the war starts, Mary sees her chance. The army is looking for nurses. She takes her opportunity and finds herself in the middle of the war.
I admired Mary's determination despite the opposition she faced. Even when her mother turned away from her she never gave up her dream. Mary found a way to succeed even when no one believed in her.
I enjoyed this beautiful story that frequently showed the horror of war. There was plenty of descriptions of what war does the human body. The book was rich in details about the war. Recommended to those who enjoy stories about strong women characters and the American Civil War. Others who shared their thoughts on My Name Is Mary Sutter: Bibliophile By The Sea, The Lost Entwife and My Friend Amy.


  1. Lovely review. I would like to read more about the Civil war, I have only read books that happened after it, and before

  2. I've read great reviews of this one and wanted to read it then and after reading your thoughts I know I will pick it up sometime for sure. Thanks for the reminder of the Civil War challenge..this one would be a great one to include!

  3. Maybe I'll read this one for the challenge. Glad to see you enjoyed it.

    Your review will appear on War Through the Generations on April 22.



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