Summary and book reviews of The Girl in His Shadow by Audrey Blake

The Girl in His Shadow

by Audrey Blake

The Girl in His Shadow by Audrey Blake X
The Girl in His Shadow by Audrey Blake
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Published:
    May 2021, 384 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

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.

Paperback Original

Coming Soon.

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...
Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

Here are some of the comments posted about The Girl in His Shadow.
You can see the full discussion here.


Can the respect of a mentor and care of a devoted housekeeper supplant parental affection?
I agree - this was family for Nora. It was touching to see the way the family love and support was present. - ssh

Can you disapprove of a person without disapproving of their upbringing?
Yes-I believe you can disapprove of a person without disapproving of their upbringing. There are many examples where people transcended their upbringing and became a person free of those influences-either to the benefit or detriment of that person. A... - Loveslife

Compare Daniel's relationship with Mae and his relationship with Nora. How are they different? Are they similar in any way?
Daniels relationship with Mae was based on conventionality , in my opinion. Same socioeconomic background and just falling in line with what was expected. His relationship with Nora was totally based on respect and also a love that comes from ... - beckys

Do you see any parallels between Nora's situation in the nineteenth century and today?
Unfortunately, my answer is yes. The world is still very much ruled by men as it was over a century ago. While women have achieved much success and broken many glass ceilings, women still experience discrimination and harassment. I appreciated the ... - janicea

Do you think "disciple" is the right word to describe what Nora is to Croft? Do you think it’s better to pledge yourself to an ideal or to another person?
I prefer the word mentor. Dr. Croft certainly mentored Nora, gave her the intellectual wings to fly, and provided the environment that gave her own intellectual curiosity the resources to study. I don’t subscribe to pledging oneself to a cause,... - vivianh

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Library Journal
With its strong woman protagonist and authentic period detail, this is the best kind of historical fiction, transporting readers to a place and time peopled with memorable characters. Readers who enjoy medical drama will gravitate to this book.

Author Blurb Tracey Enerson Wood, international bestselling author of The Engineer's Wife
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.

Author Blurb Gloria Goldreich, author of The Paris Children
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.

Reader Reviews

Sonia Francis

The audacity of a female
Nora, an orphan in 19th century London has lost her parents to cholera and is raised by Dr. Croft . The tenacity and persistence of Nora to risk it all in a Victorian society where women’s role in medicine is zero is absolutely shunned on to the ...   Read More
Katherine Pond

Women Cannot Practice Medicine!
Received a copy of this book to discuss on BookBrowse. I found it incredibly interesting for many reasons. As a pre-med grad and a teacher of Anatomy and Physiology for about 30 years the history of women in science and the restrictions on their ...   Read More
carriem

The Girl in His Shadow
An engaging historical fiction about one woman’s struggle to use her abilities and knowledge in medicine and science during Victorian times in London and the societal roadblocks she faced. Nora has mentors that support and encourage her but there are...   Read More
Jos

Girl Power
Good historical Fiction on women and medicine set in the mid 1800s London. The book examines how women were band from practicing medicine and ethical situations in discovering lifesaving techniques. There is a big romance set in this book, but ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Read-alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Girl in His Shadow, try these:

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search read-alikes again
How we choose readalikes

Books with similar themes


Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Code Breaker
    The Code Breaker
    by Walter Isaacson
    What makes humans human? It's a mystery that has inspired philosophers and driven scientific ...
  • Book Jacket: Genesis
    Genesis
    by Guido Tonelli
    Popular science books represent an important niche in non-fiction. They build a bridge between ...
  • Book Jacket: Buses Are a Comin'
    Buses Are a Comin'
    by Charles Person, Richard Rooker
    Charles Person was just 18 years old in 1961 when he became the youngest of the first wave of '...
  • Book Jacket: Firekeeper's Daughter
    Firekeeper's Daughter
    by Angeline Boulley
    Angeline Boulley's young adult novel Firekeeper's Daughter follows 18-year-old Daunis — ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Of Women and Salt
by Gabriela Garcia
A kaleidoscopic portrait of generations of women from a 19th-century Cuban cigar factory to the present day.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Crossing the River
    by Carol Smith

    A powerful exploration of grief that combines memoir, reportage, and lessons in how to heal.

  • Book Jacket

    Ariadne
    by Jennifer Saint

    A mesmerizing debut novel about Ariadne, Princess of Crete for fans of Madeline Miller's Circe.

Who Said...

Wherever they burn books, in the end will also burn human beings.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A S I T closet

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.