Carrying on with last week’s theme of women’s roles explored via historical fiction, this week I’m sharing my review of Barbara Woods’ Domina. Check it out at your local library or favorite bookseller!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Born in London’s slums, Samantha Hargrave is determined to become a physician. What stands in her way? The entire medical establishment. Samantha lives in Victorian London, and women are not permitted to enter medical schools.
First apprenticing herself to a pharmacist and then to two different physicians, Samantha eventually finds her way into a medical school and receives her certification. She moves from London to New York, and from there to San Francisco — where she establishes a hospital for women, and takes on the patent medicine industry as the quack treatments kill so many of her patients.
Barbara Wood has clearly done a great deal of research into the period, and woven her facts into a fascinating novel. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.