ABOUT THE BOOK
From the author of The Underground River comes this compelling new novel of female perseverance. Set in the aftermath of the Civil War, The Physician’s Daughter is the story of two people trying to make their way in a world that is struggling to escape its past.
It is 1865, the American Civil War has just ended, and 18-year old Vita Tenney is determined to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a country doctor like her father. But when her father tells her she must get married instead, Vita explores every means of escape – and finds one in the person of war veteran Jacob Culhane.
Damaged by what he’s seen in battle and with all his family gone, Jacob is seeking investors for a fledgling business. Then he meets Vita – and together they hatch a plan that should satisfy both their desires. Months later, Vita seemingly has everything she ever wanted. But alone in a big city and haunted by the mistakes of her past, she wonders if the life she always thought she wanted was too good to be true. When love starts to compete with ambition, what will come out on top?
Most fathers would be thrilled to hear that their child wants to follow in their footsteps but it's 1865 and Dr. Arthur Tenney refuses to give his eighteen-year-old daughter permission to go to medical school. He reminds her that it's time that she marry, have babies, and accept her station in life. Vita, however, is determined to become a doctor and she sets out to make her dreams a reality, with the help of war veteran Jacob Culhane. He's chasing his own dreams and together, they may be able to attain their goals by entering a marriage of convenience. Neither is prepared for the attraction that grows between them!
Author Martha Conway has created a wonderful heroine in this intriguing look at the prejudices that women have encountered in the past. I was also drawn to Jacob's battle with the mental trauma that resulted from his service during the Civil War. Both of these scenarios are reminders that some things never completely change. Women are still trying to break through glass ceilings and PTSD is a very real disease in our twenty-first century!
Fascinating characters, a historical setting, and Conway's extensive research of the medical practices of the 19th century make this a book that I couldn't put down. The Physician's Daughter is captivating historical fiction!
I received a complimentary copy from the author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. There was no obligation for a positive review.