Love and Science in Anatomy | Book Review


Rating: 4 out of 5.

An intriguing, but addictive-to-read book.

Genre: Historical Fiction
Author: Dana Schwarts
Published: January 2022
Publisher: Piakus
Pages: 335 (paperback)

I find the cover of this book so strange – but having read it, it’s oddly fitting. It makes me both drawn in and pushed away at the same time. To sum it up, overall I enjoyed the reading experience of this and found it very easy to read, but I found the ending too open-ended – but not so badly so that it ruined anything for me.

It was an interesting story with a great female character trying to make space for herself in the realm of medicine, in a time when that was very much so not allowed. Standing up against societal pressures of marriage and propriety, she does everything within her power to learn about medicine and try to become qualified.

There’s an interesting romance within the pages that adds some drama to the aristocratic themes of planned marriages – where Hazel is trying to delay an unwanted match in favour of living her life first. The feminist tones of the story were by far my favourite part and I really enjoyed the ride. Despite some reservations over the ending, I thought this was fun, new and delightfully elbow-deep in the gross, dark corners of 19th century Edinburgh.

I just wish this had beed a touch longer to tie off the plot at various points more tightly. I was left with a small feeling of, okay but what actually happened when I turned the final page. It felt a little bit like reading a well-written essay that was disguising its lack of conclusion in excellent wordery. So you go, oh wow that was brilliant, but then can’t work out exactly what was achieved by it all.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Depends on how you like your endings.

This is a book I will look back fondly on and lazily turn over thoughts about it for some time to come.

Grab a copy!

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