A Mother’s Quest to Find Her Children.

3.5 stars rounded up to 4. Eleanor Shearer’s debut novel, River Sing Me Home, begins on the Providence sugar plantation in Barbados in 1834. The master announces the end of slavery, but the slaves must work as apprentices for another six years. Rachel, born on the plantation, escapes in the dead of night to find her five children, sold away years ago. Her dangerous journey takes her from Barbados through the dense forests of British Guiana across the sea to Trinidad. Along the way, she receives help from former tobacco harvesters and runaway slaves. In Bridgetown, Rachel reunites with her mute daughter, Mary Grace. They travel with a seaman named […]

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Breaking Barriers in 19th-Century Medicine

The Girl in His Shadow is a fascinating historical novel set in 19th-century London. The story is about Nora Beady, an orphan raised by the brilliant and eccentric Dr. Horace Croft after her parents died during a cholera outbreak. Unlike other young women of the time, Nora is trained in suturing and anatomical illustrations, rather than embroidery, defying societal norms that restrict women from practicing medicine. Nora secretly assists Dr. Croft with surgeries and medical research, honing her skills and expanding her knowledge. Dr. Daniel Gibson, a charming and ambitious young doctor, threatens to expose Nora’s hidden talents. As Nora navigates the challenges of working in a male-dominated field, she […]

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A Historical Dive into 19th-Century Asylum Life

The Madwomen of Paris takes us back to 19th-century France, focusing on Laure Bissonet, a talented artist. After her father’s death leaves her homeless and in debt, Laure has a breakdown and ends up in the hysteria ward of the Salpêtrière asylum. As she recovers, Laure works as a resident ward attendant and takes on the responsibility of caring for Josephine, a patient who the asylum’s famous director uses in hypnosis demonstrations. Laure plots their escape from the oppressive institution. The novel vividly depicts the struggles women faced in a society that often labeled them mad for defying norms. It highlights the 19th-century obsession with hysteria and the dangerous treatments […]

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