The Girl in His Shadow: Book summary and reviews of The Girl in His Shadow by Audrey Blake

The Girl in His Shadow

A Novel

by Audrey Blake

The Girl in His Shadow by Audrey Blake X
The Girl in His Shadow by Audrey Blake
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Book Summary

The story of one woman who believed in scientific medicine before the world believed in her

Raised by the eccentric surgeon Dr. Horace Croft after losing her parents to a deadly pandemic, the orphan Nora Beady knows little about conventional life. While other young ladies were raised to busy themselves with needlework and watercolors, Nora was trained to perfect her suturing and anatomical illustrations of dissections.

Women face dire consequences if caught practicing medicine, but in Croft's private clinic Nora is his most trusted―and secret―assistant. That is until the new surgical resident Dr. Daniel Gibson arrives. Dr. Gibson has no idea that Horace's bright and quiet young ward is a surgeon more qualified and ingenuitive than even himself. In order to protect Dr. Croft and his practice from scandal and collapse Nora must learn to play a new and uncomfortable role―that of a proper young lady.

But pretense has its limits. Nora cannot turn away and ignore the suffering of patients even if it means giving Gibson the power to ruin everything she's worked for. And when she makes a discovery that could change the field forever, Nora faces an impossible choice. Remain invisible and let the men around her take credit for her work, or let the world see her for what she is―even if it means being destroyed by her own legacy.

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Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. Though she's more qualified, Nora worries about being replaced by Daniel. Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? What did you do about it?
  2. Dr. Croft often resorts to disreputable methods of getting subjects, such as paying grave robbers or taking advantage of grieving family members. For him, the ends justify the means. Do you agree with him? To what extent?
  3. Throughout the story, Nora conducts a series of experiments and independent studies. What was she hoping to learn?
  4. We get to see nineteenth century medical techniques through Nora's eyes. Which treatments surprised you the most? Are there any techniques that carried over into modern medicine?
  5. Nora is one of only a few women in a field dominated by men. Do you see any parallels...
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Reviews

Media Reviews

"In The Girl in His Shadow, Audrey Blake takes the reader on an exquisitely detailed journey through the harrowing field of medicine in mid-19th century London. Nora, the ward of the eccentric and brilliant surgeon Horace Croft, learns far more than any woman is allowed. Bravely saving lives while risking her own, she defies the law to pioneer breakthroughs in medicine." - Tracey Enerson Wood, international bestselling author of The Engineer's Wife

"A suspenseful story of a courageous young woman determined to become a surgeon in repressive Victorian England. Fluidly written, impeccably researched, The Girl in His Shadow is a memorable literary gift to be read, reread, and treasured." - Gloria Goldreich, author of The Paris Children

This information about The Girl in His Shadow shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Audrey Blake Author Biography

Audrey Blake is the pseudonym of Jaima Fixsen and Regina Sirois, two authors who met as finalists of a writing contest and have been writing together ever since. They share a love of history, nature, literature, and stories of inspiring women. Jaima hails from Alberta, Canada and Regina from Kansas.

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