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The Heart Specialist
Cover of The Heart Specialist
The Heart Specialist
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Inspired by the life of Doctor Maude Elizabeth Seymour Abbott, The Heart Specialist is the story of an ambitious woman pursuing her dream at the dawn of the twentieth century. Agnes is stripped of a regular childhood when her father is accused of a horrific crime and abandons the family. Never considered ladylike, she is drawn to the "wrong" things, such as microscopes, anatomy, and dissection, that lead to her finding her calling as a doctor. Yet despite a rapid rise to stardom in the medical community, she soon finds herself up against the same glass ceiling faced by women in her field. Set against the backdrop of conflict and upheaval permeating the early 1900s, The Heart Specialist is a testament to one woman's triumph in the face of adversity.

Inspired by the life of Doctor Maude Elizabeth Seymour Abbott, The Heart Specialist is the story of an ambitious woman pursuing her dream at the dawn of the twentieth century. Agnes is stripped of a regular childhood when her father is accused of a horrific crime and abandons the family. Never considered ladylike, she is drawn to the "wrong" things, such as microscopes, anatomy, and dissection, that lead to her finding her calling as a doctor. Yet despite a rapid rise to stardom in the medical community, she soon finds herself up against the same glass ceiling faced by women in her field. Set against the backdrop of conflict and upheaval permeating the early 1900s, The Heart Specialist is a testament to one woman's triumph in the face of adversity.

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About the Author-
  • Claire Holden Rothman is a writer and translator. Her work on Le chercheur de trsors won her the 1994 John Glassco Translation Award. She has a BA in philosophy from McGill and a MA in English Literature from Concordia University, and has taught English at Marianoplis College and creative writing at McGill University. Claire lives in Montreal.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 18, 2011
    Rothman, the author of two story collections (Salad Days and Black Tulips), movingly depicts the life and career of Agnes White, inspired by real-life doctor Maude Abbott (1869–­­1940), one of Canada's first female doctors, in her brilliant first novel. When Agnes Bourret is four years old, her father, an eminent Montreal physician who teaches at McGill University, abandons his family in the wake of a scandal and disappears. Agnes is adopted by her grandmother, who changes her last name to White. In thrall to her father's memory, Agnes later turns to Dr. William Howlett, who becomes her mentor, as her father was once Howlett's. After entering medical school in 1890, Agnes earns her M.D., but finds little acceptance among her male colleagues. Agnes's heroic journey takes her through the cataclysmic events of WWI and the 1918 influenza outbreak, which ironically opens greater opportunities for her. Rothman's heartbreaking portrait of this trailblazer will long linger with the reader.

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    Cormorant Books
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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Claire Holden Rothman
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