Our event last year brought together members of two book clubs, two arts groups, two local high schools, the assisted living center, the chamber of commerce, the city of Bellevue, and other interested individuals. We had nearly three dozen readers participate in the discussion, led by our public high school librarian. We expect this year to be as successful. We will have a pair of discussion leaders this year: Marian Meyer, our public librarian, and Julianne Couch, a writer and university lecturer in English.
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..."
All Iowa Reads is sponsored by the Iowa Center for the Book, a service of the State Library and an affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Founded in 2002, ICB’s mission is to stimulate public interest in reading, literacy, and libraries. To fulfill this mission, the ICB offers a variety of programs and resources, all of which you’ll find on its website http://www.iowacenterforthebook.org/