The Marion Public Library's Coffeehouse Fiction group will be reading and discussing the All Iowa Reads book, "My Name is Mary Sutter," by Robin Oliveira, at its Tuesday, April 21 meeting. This engaged group meets monthly on third Tuesdays from September through May at Wit's End Coffeehouse, 630 10th St in Marion (across the street from the library); the Coffeehouse is a fun, casual, and comfy place to talk books.
From the book’s blurb: “…In this stunning first novel, Mary Sutter is a brilliant, head¬strong midwife from Albany, NY 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...two surgeons who fall unwittingly in love with Mary's courage 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..."