The story begins on the eve of the Civil War with Mary Sutter, Albany's best midwife, seeking to learn to become a surgeon. Obviously, this is a real stretch in the middle of the 19th century. After being turned down for apprenticeship and losing her secret love to her sister, she goes against the wishes of her mother and sets out to become part of the war effort as a nurse. Mary learns and men fall in love with her, but she suffers tremendous losses during the war and on her way to becoming a surgeon.
If you enjoy historical fiction and can stomach graphic details related to midwifery and wartime surgeries, you'll enjoy My Name is Mary Sutter. You'll especially enjoy it if you are familiar with Albany, NY--I personally enjoyed the references to roads and areas around Albany. Girls who enjoy historical fiction will like Mary Sutter as well, but there are some adult themes (along with the previously mentioned graphic medical situations) that the reader should be mature enough to handle.