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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 suturin 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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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 suturin 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.

30 review for The Girl in His Shadow

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Historical fiction fans, I have a timely, well-written, and immersive story for you. Nora lost her parents during the pandemic and is raised by Dr. Horace Croft, a quirky surgeon. She is not raised traditionally. Instead, she is taught the skills of a doctor. At the time it is a crime for women to practice medicine; however, Nora easily becomes Dr. Croft’s best assistant until a new resident arrives and threatens her role. It forces Nora to let go of some of her responsibility in the practice. No Historical fiction fans, I have a timely, well-written, and immersive story for you. Nora lost her parents during the pandemic and is raised by Dr. Horace Croft, a quirky surgeon. She is not raised traditionally. Instead, she is taught the skills of a doctor. At the time it is a crime for women to practice medicine; however, Nora easily becomes Dr. Croft’s best assistant until a new resident arrives and threatens her role. It forces Nora to let go of some of her responsibility in the practice. Nothing stops her, though, and when she makes a landmark medical discovery, she has big choices to make between two lives. From the prologue, I knew I was going to love this book. The writing is silky smooth and the descriptions, including all the medical terms, are all so fascinating. This book inspired me and made me want to act. The Girl in His Shadow is an exceptional read I could gush about all day. I give it five stars. My interest never waned. I received a gifted copy. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    As soon as I read the synopsis I knew I was going to love this book. It immediately pulled me in. Set in London in the 1840's. Nora Beady, a young girl who has lost her family to Cholera, is rescued and taken in by Dr. Horace Croft. Being raised in the home of a surgeon, Nora's interests are very much related to the world of medicine. As Nora grows and her interests remain the same, she is taught to be a medical assistant to Dr. Croft during surgeries and research experiments. Unfortunately, duri As soon as I read the synopsis I knew I was going to love this book. It immediately pulled me in. Set in London in the 1840's. Nora Beady, a young girl who has lost her family to Cholera, is rescued and taken in by Dr. Horace Croft. Being raised in the home of a surgeon, Nora's interests are very much related to the world of medicine. As Nora grows and her interests remain the same, she is taught to be a medical assistant to Dr. Croft during surgeries and research experiments. Unfortunately, during this time in history a woman practicing medicine was unheard of and the consequences if caught were extreme. When Dr. Daniel Gibson, a new surgical resident arrives, Nora is forced to hide her talents or risk being caught. But with suffering patients, that's easier said than done... I truly adore Historical Fiction, and the fact this book was set in the 1800s was such a win. I really enjoy reading about that time period. The Girl in His Shadow is such a fascinating read. Very well written and captivating. I enjoyed the storyline so much and the main characters. Nora is such a strong female character and had to overcome so much. I really admired her. Huge thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for my gifted copy!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    The Girl in His Shadow by Audrey Blake (Jaima Fixsen and Regina Sirois Cover) is an amazing and wonderful historical fiction that brings the reader into the 1840s London, England medical landscape. This novel is truly breathtaking. It has it all: fiction, historic fact, suspense, amazing and intricate plot, stunning descriptions and research, complex and well-written characters, and a little romance splashed in for good measure. I loved Nora (Eleanor) Beady. Her intelligence, fire, drive, unconv The Girl in His Shadow by Audrey Blake (Jaima Fixsen and Regina Sirois Cover) is an amazing and wonderful historical fiction that brings the reader into the 1840s London, England medical landscape. This novel is truly breathtaking. It has it all: fiction, historic fact, suspense, amazing and intricate plot, stunning descriptions and research, complex and well-written characters, and a little romance splashed in for good measure. I loved Nora (Eleanor) Beady. Her intelligence, fire, drive, unconventional personality (for that time specifically), strong moral compass, and compassion truly placed me in her corner. How she was able to thrive under the care of Dr. Horace Croft and Mrs. Phipps after such a tragic childhood into a vital part of their family and practice, all the while evolving and learning under the wings of a gifted surgeon when society said it should not be done by a woman, just tells of her fortitude and gumption. This book not only gives the reader an inside look at how the medical community existed during Victorian times, but also how this “man’s” world was yet another area where women were marginalized and prohibited from equal (or really any) participation. I loved the addition of Dr. Daniel Gibson. He fit into the narrative, unconventional family and practice, and into the world of Nora perfectly. Their chemistry was evident. As a female Practitioner, I loved delving into the procedures and experiments as if I was first-assist. The research that was done to create such true to life procedures, medical treatments, experiments, and evolution was spot on. I loved the pace, plot, every one of the characters, and I LOVED the ending. I really think that there could easily be a followup book. I desperately want to see the next chapter in all of their lives. I also loved the Author’s note to give context on fact, historical details, inspirations, and what was tweaked to make the narrative as stunning as it was. Just perfect in every way! This is what novel of historical fiction should look like! 5/5 stars Thank you EW and Sourcebooks Landmark for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR, Instagram, and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 5/4/21.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

    Multilayered, alluring, and incredibly absorbing! The Girl in His Shadow is a fascinating, immersive tale set in London in the mid-1840s at a time when women were still forbidden to practice medicine, reproduction and childbirth still had high mortality rates, studying the dead was an underground, backdoor activity, and contemplating open surgery on the stomach was not only frowned upon but considered a death wish. There are three main memorable characters in this novel. Dr Horace Croft, a renowne Multilayered, alluring, and incredibly absorbing! The Girl in His Shadow is a fascinating, immersive tale set in London in the mid-1840s at a time when women were still forbidden to practice medicine, reproduction and childbirth still had high mortality rates, studying the dead was an underground, backdoor activity, and contemplating open surgery on the stomach was not only frowned upon but considered a death wish. There are three main memorable characters in this novel. Dr Horace Croft, a renowned, unconventional surgeon whose reputation precedes him, Dr Daniel Gibson, a newly trained assistant with a desire to learn and discover, and Miss. Nora Beady, a young woman who, after spending her formative years under the care of the eccentric doctor and his housekeeper, is secretly a skilled and talented illustrator and surgeon in her own right. The prose is eloquent and rich. The characters are intelligent, strong, and independent. And the plot is an engrossing, suspenseful tale of life, loss, duty, friendship, family, romance, determination, courage, and the evolution and procedures of early medicine. The Girl in His Shadow is an atmospheric, evocative, beautifully written novel by the writing duo known as Audrey Blake that grabs you from the very first page and does a remarkable job of blending historical facts with compelling fiction that’s both informative and wonderfully captivating. Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship

    3.5 stars This is a perfectly decent woman-ahead-of-her-time historical fiction novel. Lately I’ve moved away from historical fiction, finding it less convincing than I used to, and I find this particular type of story rather cookie-cutter, but it made an interesting complement to recent nonfiction reading about science and medicine in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Apparently 2021 is the year for books about pioneering 19th century female physicians, with The Doctors Blackwell and Women in W 3.5 stars This is a perfectly decent woman-ahead-of-her-time historical fiction novel. Lately I’ve moved away from historical fiction, finding it less convincing than I used to, and I find this particular type of story rather cookie-cutter, but it made an interesting complement to recent nonfiction reading about science and medicine in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Apparently 2021 is the year for books about pioneering 19th century female physicians, with The Doctors Blackwell and Women in White Coats also published this year. It’s also fun that the celebrated surgeon who mentors the heroine is based in part on John Hunter, whose biography, The Knife Man, is absolutely worth a read. As for the plot, in 1840s London, Nora is a young woman raised by an eccentric surgeon and his housekeeper, and by dint of making herself useful has wound up informally apprenticing in the profession herself. But her practice is illegal and socially taboo, and she is challenged by the arrival of two attractive young male surgeons and a situation that pushes her into performing a groundbreaking surgery, risking public exposure. The authors are good storytellers, and I found this book entertaining and enjoyable, although it never breaks the mold. The characters are sympathetic, though I found Nora a rather generic young-woman-interested-in-science-but-also-love. The other point-of-view character, Daniel, I found perhaps more endearing because his experiences of awkwardness and embarrassment and being over his head are so relatable. The eccentric Dr. Croft is plain fun, and I particularly enjoyed the gleeful joy and fellowship with which the characters conduct their wildly irregular scientific investigations (in typical form for their day). The authors do a startlingly good job, especially for recent fiction, of making the male characters men of their time without making them villains. The men in Nora’s immediate circle support her and believe in her talents, but they also have doubts about her proper role and kind of want her to stay home and iron their shirts, and that conflict is handled with nuance. But in other ways it’s a bit frustrating that this book doesn’t feel more informed by the representation-related criticisms of the last decade. Nora is an Exceptional Woman, explicitly stated several times to be Not Like Other Women, if only by the accident of having been raised very differently. All other women in the book are portrayed as stultifyingly conventional, and in fact the only other woman in Nora’s life at all is the stern-but-motherly housekeeper, who has a secondary role. I know some women in male-dominated fields really do feel this isolated from other women, and the fact that this type of experience has been way overrepresented in fiction doesn’t mean authors should stop writing it altogether. But it’s not representative of the actual 19th century female medical pioneers (or I would guess the authors, since two women wrote this book together!). And it might feel a bit more believable and nuanced if Nora noticed her isolation from other women, which she doesn’t particularly. Otherwise, there’s a lot of detail about medicine and surgery in the 1840s, which I found interesting and engaging; the authors have clearly done their research, down to reading actual medical journals from the time. It’s an interesting time for surgery, with anesthesia being conceived of for the first time (most of the surgeries in the book, however, are performed without it). The story flows well and kept me wanting to know what happens next; it doesn’t go too far down the love-triangle route, though it teases the idea; and the end at least feels satisfying to a modern reader, not sweeping institutionalized sexism or Nora’s own professional aspirations under the rug of romance. The romance is still perhaps a larger part of the book than it needs to be, but it’s written well enough and that is how this type of book tends to go. Overall then, a good choice for those who enjoy woman-ahead-of-her-time historical fiction, or would like to see a slice of 1840s medicine come to life. It didn’t rock my world, but I enjoyed my time with it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    I’ve always been fascinated by medicine and the healing arts and have enjoyed both fiction and nonfiction titles that focus on the subject. It is truly amazing to ponder and absorb the incredible advances and changes in its practice over the past 200 years. This historical fiction novel is set in Victorian England circa 1845 and relates a story about a young orphan who is raised by a well-known surgeon, Dr. Horace Croft. As she grows up as his ward, Eleanor (Nora) Beady becomes his first assistan I’ve always been fascinated by medicine and the healing arts and have enjoyed both fiction and nonfiction titles that focus on the subject. It is truly amazing to ponder and absorb the incredible advances and changes in its practice over the past 200 years. This historical fiction novel is set in Victorian England circa 1845 and relates a story about a young orphan who is raised by a well-known surgeon, Dr. Horace Croft. As she grows up as his ward, Eleanor (Nora) Beady becomes his first assistant and learns medicine and surgery under his tutelage. But, it is illegal in London for a woman to be a doctor so everything she does must remain a secret. Their clinic on Great Queen Street hums along nicely until the arrival of Dr. Daniel Gibson who is meant to become Croft’s partner in practice. Everything changes when Nora’s skills and expertise are exposed and she finds she can no longer live in the shadows. NO SPOILERS. I enjoyed the details and descriptions of disease and treatment during this time period. As an RN, it sometimes seems crazy to me how little was actually known about cause and effect and how much science has discovered since that era. It’s always a bit difficult to read about how little women were allowed to do and the expectations that society had for them. I recently also read WOMEN IN WHITE COATS so was quite familiar with how difficult it was for women to become doctors and to be allowed to practice medicine much less surgery. The only drawback, for me, was the large part of the book that revolved around the romance aspect. Other than that, I found the book easy to read and entertaining. I'd rate this 3.5 stars but rounded up because of the subject being to my taste. Thank you to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS Landmark for this e-book ARC to read and review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    tpixie

    This was a great book! I can’t wait for the second one! A story about a strong resilient woman, paving the way for the rest of us. Great historical medical information woven into the story 💉🩺💼 👩🏻‍⚕️

  8. 5 out of 5

    Liz Mannegren

    Have you ever read the prologue of a book and known instantly that it was going to be a five-star read? That was this novel for me. Blake writes in a way that is rich and captivating. The attention to detail and vivid descriptions transport readers to the gritty and disease-ridden world of 19th century London, drawing them in with well-rounded characters and a plot that feels fresh and exciting. It is obvious that this is an immaculately researched story and while the subject nature could have b Have you ever read the prologue of a book and known instantly that it was going to be a five-star read? That was this novel for me. Blake writes in a way that is rich and captivating. The attention to detail and vivid descriptions transport readers to the gritty and disease-ridden world of 19th century London, drawing them in with well-rounded characters and a plot that feels fresh and exciting. It is obvious that this is an immaculately researched story and while the subject nature could have been unsettling, it was instead, absolutely riveting. I simply could not put it down! Huge thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for this advance read. This has been my favourite read of the year, so far!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Daisey

    This book was a wonderful historical fiction read! Initially, I wasn't sure about yet another book with girl in the title, but Nora is an incredibly tough and intelligent young girl who becomes a strong and determined woman. Beginning in 1845, Nora has grown up as the ward of an eccentric surgeon before the use of general anesthesia. She works with him as a secretary, artist, nurse, and assistant until the arrival of another doctor to the practice means her skills can no longer remain a secret. This book was a wonderful historical fiction read! Initially, I wasn't sure about yet another book with girl in the title, but Nora is an incredibly tough and intelligent young girl who becomes a strong and determined woman. Beginning in 1845, Nora has grown up as the ward of an eccentric surgeon before the use of general anesthesia. She works with him as a secretary, artist, nurse, and assistant until the arrival of another doctor to the practice means her skills can no longer remain a secret. * I received a copy of this book through a book club sponsorship by Sourcebooks.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sarah 🌺 Books in Their Natural Habitat

    The Girl in His Shadow is a historical fiction read book for fans of medical shows/reads. Meet Nora, an orphan taken in by a doctor who has grown to have an extensive medical knowledge and curiosity at a time where it’s not an acceptable role for women. She’s exceptionally bright, and on the forefront of women in medicine, although only a couple of people know due to the impropriety. The book is a journey of pushing boundaries, scandal, and growth. . I really appreciated watching Nora grow and fin The Girl in His Shadow is a historical fiction read book for fans of medical shows/reads. Meet Nora, an orphan taken in by a doctor who has grown to have an extensive medical knowledge and curiosity at a time where it’s not an acceptable role for women. She’s exceptionally bright, and on the forefront of women in medicine, although only a couple of people know due to the impropriety. The book is a journey of pushing boundaries, scandal, and growth. . I really appreciated watching Nora grow and find her voice throughout the book. Curious minds are what have gotten us to where we are with medicine today and it was cool to see inside that process. . I will say that this book is not for everyone. If medical shows make you squeamish, this book may make you squirm - it did to me a few times. There is also medical testing on animals which could be upsetting to readers. . Overall, this book is something different and one people interested in medicine and historical fiction may enjoy!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Selma

    A very lovely, inspiring and easy read. I had so much fun reading it as well, I love Historical fiction and I love medical topics so these two mixed in one book totally sold me and I certainly did not expect it to be as good as it was. I absolutely loved Nora because she's smart, intelligent and capable of doing so much more if only give a chance to learn and shine in a society where women are only seen as '' delicate '' and '' emotional '' and '' unfitting '' for positions of power, let alone pr A very lovely, inspiring and easy read. I had so much fun reading it as well, I love Historical fiction and I love medical topics so these two mixed in one book totally sold me and I certainly did not expect it to be as good as it was. I absolutely loved Nora because she's smart, intelligent and capable of doing so much more if only give a chance to learn and shine in a society where women are only seen as '' delicate '' and '' emotional '' and '' unfitting '' for positions of power, let alone practice medicine and surgery. She was raised by the strange and brilliant dr Croft who took her in as an orphan after he found her next to her family's corpses, unfortunately dying of the cholera. She was smart and she showed it, and he taught her about medicine and was pretty much the father figure in her life. I really liked croft's character as well because even if he was a strange and eccentric doctor, he truly cared for Nora. Daniel, oh boy, what a gentleman. He was at first shocked by Nora, a woman with a knowledge better than his own who shouldn't be practicing medicine at all in the first place, then it turned into subtle jealousy of her talents, until he finally gave it all away to genuine admiration for her, and eventually love. Daniel is honestly so sweet, and some passages had me in awe of how much he tries his best and how much he wishes he could show Nora's talents to the whole world. I love how he wishes to monopolize her but also understands that he needs to let her be herself. He can never hold her back and can only love and admire her, and she too in return. I honestly am happy that Nora received such an amazing opportunity in the end, because she truly deserved it more than anyone. It was a fitting end for a great story. Favorite quote from Daniel : He ran his fingers along the stiff planes of her corset, wishing he could squeeze her as tightly as he wanted. “I don’t expect any promises. I leave you utterly to your heart’s desires.” HOW CAN SOMEONE LOVE ANOTHER THIS GENUINELY EXPECTING NOTHING IN RETURN 😭😭😭😭 Daniel is great.

  12. 4 out of 5

    bibliolatry

    I am utterly enchanted by Nora Beady, the protagonist in this fantastic book. She is an orphaned young woman whose greatest desire is to be a doctor. I had no idea what to expect when I was fortunate to win this ARC in a contest, and when I read that it was about medicine in Victorian England, I wasn't sure if it would appeal to me because I've never read anything like this before. In any case, it didn't matter because I am a huge fan of one of the authors who collaborated to write this. I would I am utterly enchanted by Nora Beady, the protagonist in this fantastic book. She is an orphaned young woman whose greatest desire is to be a doctor. I had no idea what to expect when I was fortunate to win this ARC in a contest, and when I read that it was about medicine in Victorian England, I wasn't sure if it would appeal to me because I've never read anything like this before. In any case, it didn't matter because I am a huge fan of one of the authors who collaborated to write this. I would have read anything she wrote, but I didn't expect to be enthralled by it. The story begins with a Cholera outbreak in the city of London in 1832. Dr. Croft goes to the Beady home to check on that family, who seemed to be recovering from Cholera just the day before. The scene is profoundly powerful when he walks in to see everyone dead, except for 8 year old Nora, who is pathetically weak and not long for this world. Stoically he wraps her up and takes her home. His housekeeper, Mrs. Phipps, is not initially keen about her staying with them. With such economy of language, AB describes the sadness and devastation in the Beady home, but what stands out the most is how dedicated Dr. Croft is to healing people. His humanity shines in that moment, and throughout the book. Thirteen years later Nora is now a young woman, and still living with Dr. Croft, and Mrs. Phipps. Initially she has insecurities about fitting in and seeks ways to be useful to Dr. Croft. He notices her interest and aptitude in anatomy and she becomes indispensable to him. For this reason, she is shocked when he later brings on a new doctor, Dr. Daniel Gibson, to be his assistant. This means that Nora will not be able to help him by seeing patients, nor conducting autopsies, because it is illegal for women to practice medicine at this time. The characters in the book are brilliantly written. They are fully dimensional and it is impossible not to love them (except one). They are so finely drawn that AB doesn't need to tell the reader what they are thinking or feeling. It is clearly evident by what they do, every little action furthers our understanding of each character. Nora is a strong, intelligent woman who knows what she wants, but she is also warm, kind, and caring. The fierce love of Mrs. Phipps for Nora is heart-rendering and sweet. Dr. Croft is gruff, distracted, and irreverent, and without ever saying it, we know that Nora is the most important person in the world to him. Daniel and his friend, Harry, could walk off the pages of the book--they are so real. All the dialogue is perfect. There is not one unnecessary thing said. There were a lot of medical terms, but it was fascinating. I was often googling them to learn more. The medical stories were taken from real life, and although they were sad, it wouldn't have been realistic otherwise. This helped the reader understand the struggles of doctors at this time, given their lack of modern medicine. I was hooked and hung onto every word I read, and although the genre may be "historical fiction," I think it should fall under "literature." One passage that exemplifies the author's sublime use of language, is when Daniel questions Nora about her motives in seeing Harry (which he gets totally wrong). "Words fell like fragile wares from a tipped shelf, shattering into useless pieces in her mind. She could not find any shard large enough for a sensible thought." I could go on and on about how fantastic this book is. I absolutely loved it and will read it again (and probably again.) It was truly exceptional! Thank you to Sourcebooks and Audrey Blake for providing me with an ARC to review for my honest opinions.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jan Cole

    Set in London in the 1840’s Nora is a child saved from cholera by a brilliant, but eccentric doctor. Absentmindedly, he allows her to be a ward of his, reared by his housekeeper in an entirely unconventional way. Nora is allowed to help with the surgical clinic, take notes, and draw anatomy diagrams. She becomes quite a skillful assistsnt, although the full extent of her medical knowledge must remain hidden as it is illegal for women to work within the medical field-save for some nuns who were n Set in London in the 1840’s Nora is a child saved from cholera by a brilliant, but eccentric doctor. Absentmindedly, he allows her to be a ward of his, reared by his housekeeper in an entirely unconventional way. Nora is allowed to help with the surgical clinic, take notes, and draw anatomy diagrams. She becomes quite a skillful assistsnt, although the full extent of her medical knowledge must remain hidden as it is illegal for women to work within the medical field-save for some nuns who were nurses. Her comfortable existence comes to an end when Dr. Daniel Gibson arrives to study under Dr. Croft. Nora is afraid her studying and illegal medical practice will come to an end if Dr. Gibson discovers her secret. I enjoyed reading about women’s roles in the 1840’s and how limited their choices were-especially for a brilliant mind like Nora. She could never be satisfied with the embroidery, fashion, and gossip of the women’s world, yet more serious pursuits were forbidden. I enjoyed Nora. She was a strong character and I liked reading about medical advancements of that era. This historical fiction book is available @ #DuncanPublicLibrary.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Well done Audrey Blake or rather coauthors Jaima Fixsen, from Alberta and Regina Sirois who hails from Kansas. These two authors who met as finalists of a writing contest have created an enjoyable historical fiction that transports the reader into the crude and developing medical world of the 1840’s. This novel has it all: well researched, suspenseful, intricate plot, vivid descriptions and complex loveable characters especially the protagonist, Nora Beady. Nora is an orphan and cholera survivor Well done Audrey Blake or rather coauthors Jaima Fixsen, from Alberta and Regina Sirois who hails from Kansas. These two authors who met as finalists of a writing contest have created an enjoyable historical fiction that transports the reader into the crude and developing medical world of the 1840’s. This novel has it all: well researched, suspenseful, intricate plot, vivid descriptions and complex loveable characters especially the protagonist, Nora Beady. Nora is an orphan and cholera survivor who grows up in the home of Dr. Horace Croft a renowned eccentric London surgeon. Growing up in an unconventional home, Nora learns about medicine. Her knowledge and passion rival’s that of any doctor…but it is illegal for women to practice medicine in England. Nora’s intelligence, drive, and compassion make her a character you can’t help admire. As Dr. Croft brings on a young surgeon the story evolves and becomes an unputdownable page turner and an excellent work of historical fiction.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chevy

    Be prepared to be elbow deep right away with this book. Having worked in the medical field I was very impressed with the depth of medical terminology, symptoms, and descriptions in this book. I felt the beginning gave a brief but necessary background for Nora and started the book off nicely. Nora’s story really was the basis of the book and the most enjoyable part. Daniel was just ok. Mrs. Phipps and Dr. Croft were excellent side characters that really shone toward the end of the book. I was wrap Be prepared to be elbow deep right away with this book. Having worked in the medical field I was very impressed with the depth of medical terminology, symptoms, and descriptions in this book. I felt the beginning gave a brief but necessary background for Nora and started the book off nicely. Nora’s story really was the basis of the book and the most enjoyable part. Daniel was just ok. Mrs. Phipps and Dr. Croft were excellent side characters that really shone toward the end of the book. I was wrapped up pretty well into this book and couldn’t wait to see how it ended all the way to the inquiry. Once the inquiry was over it fell flat for me. The ending was preferred but also very anticlimactic for the reader although exciting for Nora.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Becky Zagor

    3.5 rounding up. Interesting book about a woman who can act as a surgeon, but the conventional values of the English Victorian era forbid her. As a nurse, I was amazed at the detail & description given to medical conditions and procedures. There are romantic relationships and ethical dilemmas. A new view of strong and behind the scenes women in days gone by. Edit more of the slower start/background and easily a 4 star. AMAZING that it the debut collaboration between tow wonderful authors!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rachelle Miller

    I loved this book. I love historical fiction and I love anything pertaining to the medical world, so I knew this would be right up my alley when I read the synopsis. It was probably the best medical historical fiction that I’ve read. I will also say that I’m not a huge fan of series, but I would love to read more about what happens to the main character. This book does have descriptions of some slightly gorey things, so if you have a weak stomach, beware.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Pulley

    Fascinating account of medicine in its early stages…no electricity, no anesthesia! This story is of a young, very bright woman who is orphaned by cholera and grows up in the home of a brilliant and eccentric surgeon. Hence, she learns as much about medicine as any doctor…but at a time when it is illegal for women to practice any kind of medicine in England. Enter several aspiring young surgeons to train with her guardian and the story evolves and gets better and better.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Tournas

    A satisfying story with interesting medical procedures, as they would have been performed in the 19th century around the time that ether was first used as anesthesia. Nora has the chops to be a surgeon but has to hide her desire to function as one because of Victorian ideas of women's place. A satisfying story with interesting medical procedures, as they would have been performed in the 19th century around the time that ether was first used as anesthesia. Nora has the chops to be a surgeon but has to hide her desire to function as one because of Victorian ideas of women's place.

  20. 4 out of 5

    ♡AbbyBooks♡

    The female character was amazing. I also like the different Male characters and their different views. It was such an interesting and good book. I love it so much. I am so glad Hoopla recommended me this book (: Trigger warnings: Animals, experiments, 1800s medical ideals, drugs

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

    A well done and believable story about a woman born in the wrong error who is overshadowed by men. The characters in the story are either based on real people or imagined to exist, dictated by the medical world of the 1840's and the restraints placed upon women. Their place was in the home behind tittering laughs and moving fans, not in the operating room or studying medical journals about the anatomy of the human body! A well done and believable story about a woman born in the wrong error who is overshadowed by men. The characters in the story are either based on real people or imagined to exist, dictated by the medical world of the 1840's and the restraints placed upon women. Their place was in the home behind tittering laughs and moving fans, not in the operating room or studying medical journals about the anatomy of the human body!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Gail Nelson

    Loved it!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Naomi Warden

    If you love historical fiction with a heavy dose of medical science this book is for you. If get Squeamish easily you will definitely want to pass on this one. The plot was fast moving and kept my attention. Character development was astounding especially the secondary characters. I learned lots of new vocabulary as well a portion of history that is often overlooked.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carol Deegan

    Although a good story, this book was rather slow moving. The author does a very good job of describing the situations and the people involved. The historical part of the book was excellent, and it is apparent a lot of research was done before publishing this book. I was definitely not fond of the ending; it left everything up in the air and there was no closure.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    In 1832, a cholera epidemic invaded England. Dr. Horace Croft rescues a young girl from the home where her entire family has died. In 1845, 13 years after the cholera outbreak, Eleanor [Nora] Beady, lives in the Dr’s house and assists him in the surgery. She has grown up with bones and brains and muscles and nerves, and is quite knowledgeable about the human body. Her idyllic life changes when a new Assistant Doctor, Daniel Gibson, arrives at the front door. Doctoring and surgery are for men onl In 1832, a cholera epidemic invaded England. Dr. Horace Croft rescues a young girl from the home where her entire family has died. In 1845, 13 years after the cholera outbreak, Eleanor [Nora] Beady, lives in the Dr’s house and assists him in the surgery. She has grown up with bones and brains and muscles and nerves, and is quite knowledgeable about the human body. Her idyllic life changes when a new Assistant Doctor, Daniel Gibson, arrives at the front door. Doctoring and surgery are for men only. Women have no place in this exclusive realm, even as assistants. Henry VIII banned them from the Company of Barber Surgeons. Her work with Dr. Croft must now be practiced in secret. Nora yearns to learn more. To be recognized by the medical community. Her story is one of frustration, but also of the work she does under the tutelage of Dr. Croft. His efforts on behalf of ”an unlicensed, untutored girl” are tireless. Nora doesn’t want to do research; she wants to be a doctor. You will enjoy her journey right up to the satisfying conclusion. Published by Sourcebooks, 2021

  26. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    With its striking cover and intriguing premise, how could I not be drawn to THE GIRL IN HIS SHADOW? I've seen rave reviews as well, so I was eager to read it. Its subject—the role of women in early medicine—is certainly fascinating. Though gory, the book's depictions of 19th Century efforts to learn about disease and how to treat it made for interesting reading. As for the story, though? It's sllooowwww. Without a structured plot to keep it focused and forward-moving, the tale drags, making it v With its striking cover and intriguing premise, how could I not be drawn to THE GIRL IN HIS SHADOW? I've seen rave reviews as well, so I was eager to read it. Its subject—the role of women in early medicine—is certainly fascinating. Though gory, the book's depictions of 19th Century efforts to learn about disease and how to treat it made for interesting reading. As for the story, though? It's sllooowwww. Without a structured plot to keep it focused and forward-moving, the tale drags, making it very putdownable. The characters are likable, but not super complex or memorable, which contributes to the meh-ness of the novel. While Nora is sympathetic and kind, she lacks the vulnerability that makes me really root for a character. I felt like she would be fine no matter what and that, while the back cover copy touts how much risk she takes in the story, in actuality she never really risks or loses very much. That made it tough for me to care much about what happened to her, meaning I just never got all that invested in her or this book. I did plow through THE GIRL IN HIS SHADOW, but that's exactly what the reading experience felt like: work. I wanted to really like this one; honestly, I had to force myself to finish it. Bummer.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I received a temporary digital advanced copy of The Girl in His Shadow by Audrey Blake from NetGalley, Sourcebooks Landmark, and the author in exchange for an honest review. After her family succumbs to a pandemic, Nora Beady is taken in by the doctor who treated her, Dr. Horace Croft, one of the best doctors in London. Raised in his home, surrounded by the study of medicine, Miss. Beady begins to assist the doctor and learns far more than ever anticipated. In a time where practicing medicine wit I received a temporary digital advanced copy of The Girl in His Shadow by Audrey Blake from NetGalley, Sourcebooks Landmark, and the author in exchange for an honest review. After her family succumbs to a pandemic, Nora Beady is taken in by the doctor who treated her, Dr. Horace Croft, one of the best doctors in London. Raised in his home, surrounded by the study of medicine, Miss. Beady begins to assist the doctor and learns far more than ever anticipated. In a time where practicing medicine without a license, and as a female, she takes an extreme risk if anyone was to find out. Dr. Croft takes on an assistant despite Miss. Beady's hesitations and her secret could be revealed and with it, her love of medicine may be taken away from her forever. A story unlike many in its time, The Girl in his Shadow is a terrific read filled with suspense. The characters were well developed and highly enjoyable. As a non-medical professional, its science and detailed procedures are comprehensible and interesting. The Girl in His Shadow is a must read for lovers of nineteenth-century London looking for a fresh perspective and to get out of the stuffy ballrooms of the Ton.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    Young girl under doctor’s care makes a place in the world.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    4.5 stars, rounded up. Thank you Sourcebooks Landmark for the copy of this book and for sponsoring our book club, Wine and Worms! I'll be honest, when I read the preface of this book I was skeptical that it could be a slow read to get through. I was pleasantly surprised when this book sucked me in and kept me entertained and enthralled. Nora Beady is the only surviving member of her family from the devastation of a horrible pandemic (rest easy - this is the 1800's so we're talking about cholera) 4.5 stars, rounded up. Thank you Sourcebooks Landmark for the copy of this book and for sponsoring our book club, Wine and Worms! I'll be honest, when I read the preface of this book I was skeptical that it could be a slow read to get through. I was pleasantly surprised when this book sucked me in and kept me entertained and enthralled. Nora Beady is the only surviving member of her family from the devastation of a horrible pandemic (rest easy - this is the 1800's so we're talking about cholera)... She is saved by the local physician that is sometimes seen as a 'quack' by the village. Dr. Croft and his housekeeper Phillipa adopt and raise Phillipa and although they are not blood related, they become a unique bonded family. Dr. Croft, is a true and curious scientist, and well-respected physician by his peers. He is inquisitive and keen on developing advancements in modern medicine in that era. Nora grows up surrounded by Dr. Croft's quirky ways and she becomes very curious in his studies and practices. Dr. Croft allows Nora to become his assistant and work alongside him, even though she is not educated in medicine and during that time, women were not allowed to practice medicine in England. In Nora's time, women were solely expected to cook, clean, knit, and bear children. Dr. Croft hires a new surgical resident, Daniel Gibson. Daniel is skeptical of Phillipa's presence and her skills until one fateful evening they must team up to save a man's life with surgery. Over time, Daniel falls in love with Phillipa and learns to respect her talents and intelligence. But an offer to study abroad challenges Phillipa's decision on what she should do - to remain complacent with where she lives and who she lives with or what she can do to break through the glass ceiling for women of her time. This book drew so many emotions out of me. I found myself laughing, teary-eyed, and truly sad for Phillipa's circumstances. I highly recommend this book to those that enjoy historical fiction or stories on overcoming obstacles when the odds are against you. Although this book is fiction, it very easily could have been a true story. There are some gory moments as well! A fun fact about this book is that it actually was written by two authors under one pen name. Quote from the book: "Miss Beady, I have no doubt you've been forced to adjust to the most gruesome situations through unfortunate exposure. But I say that with sympathy. I think a woman of your delicacy and age should hardly be left to haunt dissecting rooms. It is a disservice done to you." "Disservice?" she repeated. "Yes. Dr. Croft has neglected his duty to protect your delicate --" "If you call me delicate one more time, I will prove you wrong." Now they were both red in the face, their lips set in the same stubborn frown. "I certainly won't grace you with that attribute again. You do not belong here", he said.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cristine

    Nora Beady is raised by an absentminded but brilliant doctor after she is orphaned in a cholera epidemic. In a time when women are not permitted to do much more than nurse, Nora spends her days helping patients in the clinic, and spends her nights opening and working on cadavers. It would seem that Nora would be a forward thinking, passionate, confident woman who takes life by the horns wouldn't it? Except she's not. Nora's character throughout the book is SO placid and cliche that her "passion Nora Beady is raised by an absentminded but brilliant doctor after she is orphaned in a cholera epidemic. In a time when women are not permitted to do much more than nurse, Nora spends her days helping patients in the clinic, and spends her nights opening and working on cadavers. It would seem that Nora would be a forward thinking, passionate, confident woman who takes life by the horns wouldn't it? Except she's not. Nora's character throughout the book is SO placid and cliche that her "passion for medicine" is rendered completely null. Rarely does she show any true personality and either comes off as the stereotypical emotional and hysterical woman or as completely submissive and dull. So dull. Ultimately, I think this happens because there isn’t enough opposition placed against her. She’s surrounded by people who ENCOURAGE her work in medicine. There’s no internal or immediate struggle other than convention—which—again—if she was a strong character wouldn’t care much about. Additionally, the dialogue is buried in heaps of "tell not show” description. We get to hear Nora’s thoughts and frustration but are denied the opportunity for Nora to show what she's worth in the every day moments. Life happens TO her, and though she's irritated at living in a man's world, she DOESN'T DO MUCH ABOUT IT. The novel on a whole is extremely putdownable and filled with "misses": -Character development is non-existent. Nora has no peculiarities or flaws that endear her and win you to her side. -The risk at the climax of the novel falls flat without much buildup, tension or drama—again not enough opposition. -The plot is predictable and bogged down with words words words. I had to resort to skipping around most of the time -The romance is superficial and cliche. Nora falls for dull and fickle men with groan-worthy lines. -The ending DRAGS. The last several chapters are spent arguing a single choice about Nora's future, that—AGAIN— if Nora was a strong heroine and protagonist, would have been resolved in a chapter or less. In the end, we're left with a character who hasn't changed much at all since we first saw her at the beginning. Come on Nora! Shock us! The whole book seemed like an in-between. I wish the story would have explored Nora's childhood in Dr. Croft's home as she discovered her love of medicine. There were a few references to her stint at a finishing school that would have been fun--maybe she was practicing sutures instead of embroidery? Or stealing the cook's pig to work on anatomy. I don't know. So much fun and humor could have been explored there giving Nora a PERSONALITY. **SPOILER AHEAD** Or, the story could have picked immediately after the end and followed Nora as she enters Italy as a medical student in a male dominated field. (It seems there may be a second book in the works but not sure). Think of the adventures she could have in Italy! Either choice in my opinion, would have been FAR more interesting and given her space to flesh out her character. The good: It was a clean read and an interesting topic in theory.

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