The answer: My Name is Mary Sutter, a new novel by Robin Oliviera, which will be released on May 13th.
Those of us at the Book House who have read the book loved it. Erin has this to say:
"Albany midwife Mary Sutter wants desperately to become a surgeon. On the eve of the American Civil War, she has been rejected by Albany Medical School and turned down for an apprenticeship by the town physician. Out of options, Mary is desperate — and so, when Dorthea Dix puts out a call for nurses, Mary hurries to Washington even though she is too young and has brought no letters of reference.
"Through impossible hardships, bone-numbing exhaustion, and personal grief, guilt, and aspirations, Mary toils day after day to care for the wounded Union soldiers that flood the hospitals. The story follows doctors and nurses, politicians and families — the people behind the front lines — as they find their way through war-torn lives. Rich in historic detail, Oliveira’s writing takes you back to its historical setting a in a way many novels never achieve."
Extra cool: Robin Oliviera grew up around Albany, though she now lives in Seattle.