Monday, September 12, 2011

My name is Mary Sutter

Sunday, our whirlwind weekend trip in Charlottesville continued with a trip to the University of Virginia. We took a tour of the Rotunda with its large green lawn and pavilions.
Top - American Eagle, Purse - Treejse, Gray maxi skirt - Express, Blue boots - Frye
We learned even more about Thomas Jefferson, like the ideals on which he founded the University and how it affected his designs for the first buildings.
There's the Rotunda and the lawn I mentioned.
We feared all week that it would rain during the weekend, but it turned out to be beautiful weather. The blue skies constantly reminded me of the same blue skies 10 years ago...we did spend a good part of the day watching the news and talking with each other about 9/11. It was strange--being so happy, having a great day, but at the same time...not.

The weather also made us think that perhaps the overbearing heat is through, that the summer is really winding down. We went to a beautiful mountain apple orchard, and saw these:
How can you not love fall? Look at how much fun these jack o' lanterns are.
After our apple orchard visit, we hit the road for the long drive home. I settled in with My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira.
The book for which I wore this long skirt. Mary Sutter wouldn't approve of anything else, of course.
I would rate the book as a 3/5. I love historical novels, and this one was set during the Civil War, a time period I haven't read about in years. It's fun to learn but be entertained too. And I did learn. In fact, I learned and was horrified by the medical field and doctors in those days.

Mary, a talented midwife, runs away from home and heartache to become a surgeon, only to come face to face with just how little surgeons actually knew in those days when it came time to begin amputating. The surgeon she's with went to medical school, sure, and has been practicing medicine for years, alright, but is obviously not so familiar with cutting. After the first major battle bringing in wounded soldiers, Mary reads from an instructional book, while the doctor cuts through skin, muscle, and bone, learning along the way. It's terrifying to think about, also very sad when they realize they don't know what to do with the extra limbs, the bodies, then have to deal with the lack of medicine, the general lack of supplies. War wasn't well planned out, and thousands upon thousands suffered and died because of it.

A few times the story dragged for me--too many details about the war and all of its political players, too many woe is me moments. Still, I would like to read more from Robin Oliveira. She obviously did a good amount of research and the book's incidents and characters felt authentic. I wonder if she's particularly interested in the Civil War or if she would put her talents into other time periods.

1 comment:

  1. I have the same top just yellow design. Glad you had a fun weekend trip!