The Heart Specialist

The Heart Specialist

A Novel

Book - 2011
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Set in Quebec at the turn of the 19th to 20th century, the story of Agnes White, a lonely orphaned girl fascinated by the "wrong" things--microscopes, dissections, and anatomy instead of more ladylike interests--who rises to the status of one of the world's most celebrated pioneering women doctors. Not only does she break through patriarchal academic barriers; she masters the science of the human heart, becoming a scholar of international fame, all in a place and time inimical to intelligent women. Inspired by the career of Maude Abbott, one of Canada's first female physicians.
Publisher: New York : Soho Press, c2011, 2009
ISBN: 9781569479452
Branch Call Number: FICTION Rothman
Characteristics: 325 p. ; 22 cm


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Jul 19, 2011

Great piece of historical fiction and that fact that it's Canadian is an added bonus. A very enjoyable read.

Cdnbookworm Apr 20, 2011

I got this book back in the summer for a birthday gift and now wonder why I never picked it up earlier (I know, I was reading the library books I had to return first!). It is wonderful. Inspired by one of Canada's first woman doctors, Dr. Maude Abbott, and with each section introduced by a quote from her, it takes you completely into another world. We follow the life of Agnes White, from her childhood to after the first World War. Agnes exhibits her love of science at a young age and fights doggedly to become a medical doctor. She is helped along by her governess and mentor, who steps into her life just when she needs her the most. Agnes continuously longs for and emulates her father who walked out of her life when she was only five, and we see how this loss deeply affects her the rest of her life.
This amazing novel will be one of my top reads of the year.


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