Historical Fiction Review: The Heart Specialist
I will read just about anything. My three exceptions are horror, anything by Danielle Steel (the woman can’t write), and historical fiction. The book doesn’t even have to be a work of historical fiction; just the mere reference to a multi-generational novel that includes a war or reference to the 1800’s will be enough to send me screaming.
So it’s a surprise to me that I picked up, read, and enjoyed The Heart Specialist by Claire Holden Rothman.
In the hopes that some of you might enjoy it also, here’s a review of The Heart Specialist using Shelley Wilson’s book share template . (You’ll find other books I’ve reviewed in the Perspectives section of Profound Journey.)
First Line of the Book
“All morning I had been waiting for death, even though when it finally came the change was so incremental I nearly missed it.”
Since that sentence will absolutely give you the wrong idea, I’d better continue.
“I had laid the squirrel out on a crate and covered it with a rag to keep it from freezing.”
Recruit Fans by Adding the Book Blurb
“As a young girl living in the late nineteenth century, Agnes White is drawn to the ‘wrong’ things. Growing up, she finds herself fascinated by microscopes, dissections, and anatomy–hobbies that are deemed unladylike. Yet despite the criticism of those around her, the obstacles set in place preventing women from assuming traditional male roles, Agnes chooses to pursue her calling to become a doctor, even if it means taking on the illustrious medical establishment at McGill University.
Inspired by the life of Dr. Maude Abbott, The Heart Specialist is a testament to the power of will and perseverance. Agnes White is proof that in a world on the brink of change anything is possible.”
Introduce the Main Character Using Only Three Words
tenacious, obtuse, curious
Delightful Design (Add the Cover Image)
“You can’t judge a book by its cover” may be true when it’s a metaphor for understanding people, but in this case I certainly chose to read The Heart Specialist because of its cover. Viewed up close, it’s a beautiful piece of mixed media art.
If you enjoy historical fiction, you will obviously enjoy this book. Fortunately for me, it is also enjoyable for being an engaging tale of a singular woman who manages to live her passion despite the many obstacles in her path.
Your Favourite Line or Scene
I have a couple of favourites:
“Happiness is a strange thing. It is something I tend to recognize only after it has passed, when I realize I miss it.”
“I had achieved my dream, but what had it brought? Wealth? I glanced at my dress, worn too many days now without washing, and at the patched cloak bunched under my arm. Renown? I’d been a celebrity in my student days, but since then I might as well have died. Happiness? My eyes pricked with tears. The day I received my degree I thought my life would be completely altered. I had entered the forbidden land of my father. Nothing would ever be the same. But in truth nothing happened. I remained plain old Agnes White, no richer or more famous or happier than before.”
Do you enjoy historical fiction? What’s your favourite literary genre?