Not Logged in.
Book Jacket

The Girl in His Shadow


The story of one woman who believed in scientific medicine before the world ...
Summary and Reviews
Excerpt
Reading Guide
Author Biography

Overall, what do you think of The Girl in His Shadow? (no spoilers in this thread, please)

Created: 04/30/21

Replies: 34

Posted Apr. 30, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2710

Overall, what do you think of The Girl in His Shadow? (no spoilers in this thread, please)

Overall, what do you think of The Girl in His Shadow? (no spoilers in this thread, please)


Posted Apr. 30, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 316

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I enjoyed the book. As with all historical fiction I learned a lot, especially women in the medical field and not being able to practice. A good read for book clubs.


Posted Apr. 30, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melissa c.

Join Date: 01/10/21

Posts: 61

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I enjoyed this book and found the story very interesting. I did not know much about women in medicine in the 1800's and learned quite a bit. I found the book extremely easy to read. I would definitely recommend for readers who like historical fiction.


Posted Apr. 30, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jos

Join Date: 03/14/21

Posts: 24

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

Overall I personally enjoyed this book. I’m not a Romance reader but don’t mind some romance mixed in with Historical Fiction as long as the content is focused on the Historical parts. In this case the love story really is important to the historical context and so I didn’t mind it. There was lots of medical and science related history to keep this geeky science degree reader happy! Overall I enjoyed the book and would recommend it.


Posted Apr. 30, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianac

Join Date: 04/02/13

Posts: 66

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I enjoyed it. I particularly enjoyed the ending. Too often in these 19th century stories the "happy ending" is predictable. It's a testament to Nora's independence and intelligence that she chose another path, whether it be temporary or not.


Posted Apr. 30, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PKH

Join Date: 01/29/21

Posts: 34

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting to read of the medical issues of the time and the exclusion of women from this field. The book was an easy read.


Posted Apr. 30, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carriem

Join Date: 10/19/20

Posts: 60

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I enjoyed the book and was captivated by Nora's determination from page one til the end and learned a lot about the medical practices at the time and role or the lack their of women in the field but she was successful in the path she chose and the support she recieved,


Posted Apr. 30, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Laura C

Join Date: 04/30/21

Posts: 7

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I enjoyed the story and learned a lot about the state of medical procedures and knowledge, or lack thereof, in the 19th century. Scary stuff! In reading the authors’ (yes, there are two) notes at the end, I was somewhat disappointed to learn that none of these characters actually ever lived. I prefer when the historical slightly outweighs the fiction in this genre.


Posted May. 01, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Jessica F

Join Date: 05/23/20

Posts: 96

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

Excellent! The characters were engaging, the time period was well-portrayed, the medical stuff was fascinating, and the ending wrapped up nicely. I enjoy reading historical fiction, even more so when I learn something new about the time period...this gave me a lot of new knowledge.


Posted May. 01, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barb23703

Join Date: 10/04/15

Posts: 72

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found that the authors engaged me with their characters quickly without bogging me down with excessive descriptions and detail. I was engaged with the characters from the first pages. There was an excellent balance of technical writing, historic references and personal dialogue and interaction. A very enjoyable book that I have already recommended to a friend for her book club this summer.


Posted May. 01, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vivianh

Join Date: 11/14/11

Posts: 111

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I loved this story. The research into 19th Century medicine, material culture, social hierarchy, society rules and the place of women was quite extensive. It really wasn’t until Prince Albert began researching the link between tainted water and cholera that anyone thought of hygiene in medical care. There was also a huge business in procuring cadavers for dissection and study of anatomy. I love that Nora decided to pursue her passion..


Posted May. 01, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
LWReads

Join Date: 08/09/18

Posts: 33

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

This book kept my attention from the beginning. I always enjoy historical fiction about women pushing beyond the boundaries that women are expected to adhere to in their time. This one didn’t disappoint.


Posted May. 01, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ssh

Join Date: 02/04/14

Posts: 32

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

This book was a great read that I truly enjoyed! I had trouble putting it down once I started. And I very much liked the ending! I finished though feeling that I had read a romance novel, so I was glad to see the authors added a section that grounded it in historical background. That added credibility for me.


Posted May. 02, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 209

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

LOVED the book. I am such a fan of good stories dealing with the early days of women in medicine and am especially drawn to this time period. I also found it serendipitous reading the book during Women’s History Month. It reminded me of what might have been a prequel to the Waverly Place series by Sara Donati whose books are set in the late 1800’s. By contrast, “The Girl in his Shadow” begins in 1845 when women were even less accepted in the medical profession as they were some forty years later.


Posted May. 02, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbarao

Join Date: 10/18/12

Posts: 24

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

Loved the book. It was well researched and a fascinating read documenting medicine and it’s advances and evolution in Victorian times. I admired Nora for her persistence in learning, driven by her love of medicine despite the prejudice against women who wanted more than what society allowed women at the time.


Posted May. 02, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jodyh

Join Date: 04/30/21

Posts: 8

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I really enjoyed it. The story was interesting and never felt too "researched"; the characters were fully developed; the pacing was great. I didn't know much about women in medicine, or rather the lack of, in that time period, and enjoyed learning what advances were being made, etc. And I always love a strong female protagonist!


Posted May. 02, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 298

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

Having been pre-med in College and having taught A&P for almost 30 years, I was familiar with the history but found it interesting none the less. The medical experimentation and surgeries etc were so well depicted. I very much enjoyed Nora's story and could relate on so many levels to her quest for knowledge in the field and her love of the science. My whole life from age 15, when I took my first biology class to age 57, when I retired as a teacher, revolved around the biological sciences and I loved every minute of it. Chemistry and Physics were interesting but Biology was where it was at for me--especially A&P and comparative anatomy.


Posted May. 03, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 326

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I really enjoyed this book. I don't often enjoy historical fiction. This was well written and the characters really came to life. The story was good - the writing was good - the characters were good - what more could you ask for in a good book!


Posted May. 03, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy

Join Date: 05/12/16

Posts: 1

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

My favorite genre being historical fiction, I really liked this book about how one woman fought so hard to become a surgeon at a time when women were not allowed to practice medicine. I could not put this book down until I finished it and have recommended it to several people.


Posted May. 03, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 333

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

Like all of the above readers, I really enjoyed the book. The characters were engaging and their relationships were presented well. On the history side, the times, particularly the medical history, were well-portrayed. Finally, the ending to the story was top-notch.


Posted May. 03, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kate

Join Date: 01/22/11

Posts: 73

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I love historical fiction and I thought the author did an excellent job of giving the reader well developed characters; in addition to a feeling of being in that time period. I felt like I was in the room during so many of the medical procedures. A very well written novel.


Posted May. 04, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
madmaria's Gravatar
madmaria

Join Date: 09/14/19

Posts: 2

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I live for historical fiction. If the author does enough homework on the topic, I learn history in a way that I never did in school. This author, along with those like Kim Richardson, Lisa Wingate, Colson Whitehead, Kelli Estes, Kristin Hannah, & Ellen Wiseman fill in blanks and make me enjoy & understand so much history that we could never touch on in school. This book did that for me. I have already told many of my medical professional friends that it is a must read for them.


Posted May. 05, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
AmberH

Join Date: 05/09/18

Posts: 54

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I love historical fiction, but this book just didn't grab my attention. I seem to be in the minority based on the comment thread! I felt like the character interactions were a bit cheesy. I enjoyed the overall story and would classify it as a quick beach read.


Posted May. 05, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
deeh

Join Date: 03/03/12

Posts: 210

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I enjoy historical fiction, but it is not the mainstay of my library (you will find more mystery, science fiction, and nonfiction on my shelves).


Posted May. 05, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Janet Smith

Join Date: 07/28/14

Posts: 44

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I enjoyed the book. Was unsure at first...but once I got into it I really enjoyed it and the strong woman/intelligent woman Nora was.


Posted May. 05, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
judyw

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 62

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

Having lived to my 8th decade of life and being a voracious reader, I'm rather jaded as to the definition of a "good read". Indeed, this title was near the top of a list of outstanding books for me. It grabbed my interest, was well-written, well researched and lent itself to a myriad of discussion points concerning the role of women in history. The two authors worked well together in capturing an interesting plot as well as just enough science/medical descriptions for the average reader. I would highly recommend "The Girl in His Shadow" (even the title is intriguing because it doesn't reveal the theme of the novel) to book clubs, libraries and individual readers!


Posted May. 06, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Loveslife

Join Date: 08/01/15

Posts: 44

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

Overall I felt this was a good story-well researched. I am always interested to read about how women struggled and still struggle with equity. It is amazing how women found ways to overcome prejudice and restrictions and preserve. I love when authors create characters that are believable and let the reader see a different time through their eyes. This would be a good book club book where there could be lively discussions.


Posted May. 11, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckys

Join Date: 08/12/16

Posts: 125

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I loved this book! The more I read, the more I enjoyed each character and the role they played in medical history. I not only respected Nora, but fell in love with her during the story. Historical fiction is my favorite genre because not only do you get a good story, you learn something as well. Highly recommend this book for book clubs!


Posted May. 12, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janag

Join Date: 10/08/18

Posts: 7

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It has led me to want to read more about the impact women have had in the medical field in the 19th century and beyond. I also was enlightened by how research was conducted it that period of time that ultimately led to better medical practices. It left me wanting for more which is always a good sign.


Posted May. 12, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
skagitgrits's Gravatar
skagitgrits

Join Date: 02/24/17

Posts: 33

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

This was a thoroughly good read. The characters were well developed, the story followed an expected track until it didn't, and I was pleasantly surprised by the turn at the ending. I would definitely recommend this to friends and have already done so to my book club. Read it and enjoy yourself in a well-spun tale.


Posted May. 15, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janicea

Join Date: 04/20/17

Posts: 30

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I really enjoyed this book and consider it one of the best books I have read/listened to so far this year. The book is well written. I found myself cheering for and in awe of Nora and her determination and curiosity. I highly recommend this book.


Posted May. 22, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
christinec

Join Date: 03/09/20

Posts: 14

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

Really enjoyed this book a lot - have passed it on to my fellow readers in my family - thought author got it just right -


Posted May. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lifeski

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 6

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I thought the book was well presented and researched. Still amazed at how little was understood about the human body in the early 19th century. I enjoyed the book and definitely will be recommending it to my friends.


Posted May. 26, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
millicentg

Join Date: 03/10/15

Posts: 30

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

Before I attempted a response to this statement, I read all of the existing reader comments. These comments were so interesting and covered most of the thoughts I had while reading this story. The novel explored historical medical research, insights into the development of life saving medical practices, rampant Victorian misogyny, a society structured around class and gender biases, a world of rigid rules with terrible consequences for those who ignored or broke them. All of these themes fascinated me but what kept me compulsively reading today were the characters, especially Nora. I could not stop reading until I knew if this amazing woman was going to have a chance of an authentic life or be broken down by society to a life of numbing conformity. In Nora the authors created a character who came alive to me. She was complicated, multidimensional, independent, driven, brilliant, impulsive, and so strong. I look forward to discussing this historical novel with my book club, also full of strong women.


Posted Jun. 14, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bill

Join Date: 05/25/17

Posts: 23

RE: Overall, what do you think of The ...

I enjoyed this book very much. Although I had book club books to read, I would not start them until I finished this one!!

As many of the above comments, I very much enjoy reading historical fiction as well as non-fiction history especially if it is not "stuffy". In the medical field of non-fiction history, I would recommend Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.


Reply

Please login to post a response.