"Richly detailed, expertly paced saga of the only female student attending a prestigious medical school in Italy...a truly captivating heroine, for then and for now." --Sally Cabot Gunning, author of The Widow's Warand Painting the Light From the USA Todaybestselling author of The Girl in His Shadowcomes a riveting historical fiction novel about the women in medicine who changed the world forever. Women's work is a matter of life and death. 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. 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. Perfect for book clubs and for fans of Marie Benedict, Tracey Enerson Wood, and Sarah Penner comes a captivating celebration of women healthcare workers throughout history"--
Includes reading group guide.