Heart Specialist, Paperback Book
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


An incredible story of perseverance and passion, The Heart Specialist sets the young, headstrong Agnes White against the prejudice and arrogance of the medical establishment in a battle that will eventually grant her the right to save lives as a practising doctor.

Set against the upheaval and social strictures of the early 1900s and based on true events, this unforgettable novel is a testament to the spirit, intelligence, and determination we summon when people stand in the way of our dreams.


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Inspired by the life of one of Montreal’s first female doctors, Dr. Maude Abbott, this Canadian bestseller is a marvelously crafted piece of historical fiction. Richly detailed, Rothman takes you into the life of Agnes White, a young girl who doesn’t fit the norm of the 1800’s. She and her sister are orphans and are being raised by their grandmother to become proper ladies with the goal of marriage; but Agnes isn’t interested. She would rather look through microscopes and dissect dead animals and insects, than play with dolls and worry about how she’s dressed. Her interest in Anatomy comes from her physician father, who disappeared after a scandal threatened to ruin him. Remembering him, she has collected and hidden some pieces of his lab and has set up a makeshift lab of her own as she attempts to follow in his footsteps. Growing up, she knows she has the intelligence and aptitude to become a doctor, but they don’t accept women into McGill Faculty of Medicine, where she wants to go, and where her father once worked.The Heart Specialist revolves around the mystery of her father’s disappearance, the struggle she faces to become a doctor, the complexity of relationships, and her search to know the human heart. Other than a small amount of sexuality, Claire Holden Rothman has written a perfect novel. It would make a great choice for book clubs and those that love historical fiction, mysteries and stories where someone succeeds against great odds. I received this book through the Amazon Vine program.

Also by Claire Holden Rothman