I’m excited to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for excellent historical novel The Physician’s Daughter by Martha Conway. Thank you to Tracy Fenton and Zaffre Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this wonderful book.
About the book:
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?
From the author of The Floating Theatre, 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.
About the author:
Martha Conway is the author of The Underground River, which is a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, and three previous novels. Her historical fiction has won several awards, including the North American Book Award, and her short fiction has appeared in the Iowa Review, Carolina Quarterly, Massachusetts Review, Folio, Epoch, and other journals. Martha teaches creative writing at Stanford University’s Continuing Studies Program and UC Berkeley Extension, and has received a California Arts Council fellowship for creative writing. Born and raised in Northern Ohio, Martha is one of seven sisters. She now makes her home in San Francisco.
The Physician’s Daughter is the stunning new historical novel by award winning author Martha Conway. Full of fascinating characters, intrigue, romance and suspense, it is a beautifully written, richly detailed story that I know will stay with me for a long time to come.
It is 1865 and the American Civil War has just ended. 18 year old Vita Tenney dreams of being a country doctor just like her father. But when her father tells her she must get married instead, Vita knows she must do everything in her power to escape a fate she does not want. So when she meets damaged war veteran Jacob Culhane, the pair come up with a plan that will give them both the future they desire…
What follows is an atmospheric, compelling story that instantly transports you to post Civil War America. Vita is very much a woman trying to break free from the constraints of the world in which she lives, a world where women are expected to live their lives through the accomplishments of their husbands rather than daring to have any ambitions of their own. Vita is determined that her life will be different, but when love starts to compete with ambition, which one will come out on top?
The Physician’s Daughter explores themes of feminism in a way that fits in well with the historical setting of the time, never allowing the story to become too bogged down with 21st Century values, but showing what life really would have been like for a woman trying to make her way in 19th Century America. Vita was a character I couldn’t help but like and admire, with her friendship with Gemma being a particular highlight for me.
The Physician’s Daughter is a book that has everything. There’s intrigue and romance, mixed in with a feminist story that takes a look at women’s rights amidst the expectations of the time. It tells the story of two people, both damaged by the events of the past, who are trying to make sense of the brave new world opening up before them.
Martha Conway has written a thought provoking and at times moving story that captivated me from the very first page. Her writing is stunning, with the sense of time and place so palpable it felt as though I were actually there.
A beautifully told tale, The Physician’s Daughter is historical fiction at its very best. Highly recommended.
The Physician’s Daughter by Martha Conway is available to purchase now:
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