My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliviera

My Name is Mary Sutter

Robin Oliviera

For sheer bloody determination you can't beat Mary Sutter's resolute ambition to become a surgeon, amongst the battlefields of the American Civil War. Through intense hardship and total scepticism she strives against the odds, and at each pitfall she has my complete admiration. This is a story rich in period detail which evokes the desperately wretched atmosphere of the time. But I was still left wondering about the futility of all wars.


The other two attempts to sever legs had been a disaster. In the first, the chloroform had worn off mid-surgery. The boy had flailed, ended up on the floor. Mary's hold on his artery gone, he had watched himself die, uncomprehending and stuporous. The second - she would not think of the second. She could not. A whole success, easier than the two others. Bone cut. Ties holding. Skin flapped. They'd been congratulating one another, she and Dr Stipp. And then they had turned, only to discover that the boy was dead.

  • The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks
  • Anything by Louis de Berniere

Books with similar mood


W G Sebald


Laurent Binet


Ferdinand Mount


Patrick Flanery

South of Centre

Andrea Carter

Terra Nullius

Clare G. Coleman

The Synapse Sequence

Daniel Godfrey


Pascal Mercier

The History of History

Ida Hattemer-Higgins

The Clay Dreaming

Ed Hillyer


Sarah Perry

I Am Forbidden

Anouk Markovits

The Narrow Road to the Deep North

Richard Flanagan

The Explorer

James Smythe

That Deadman Dance

Kim Scott

Perlmann's Silence

Pascal Mercier

The Good Son

You-jeong Jeong


Affinity Konar

See What I Have Done

Sarah Schmidt


Janice Galloway


Kitty Fitzgerald

The Aeronaut's Guide to Rapture

Stuart Campbell

Time on my Hands

Giorgio Vasta


Sebastian Fitzek

Living Nowhere

John Burnside

Woman of the Ashes

Mia Couto

In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman

A General Theory of Oblivion

José Eduardo Agualusa


Jaspreet Singh

The People's Train

Thomas Keneally

The Testament of Yves Gundron

Emily Barton

The Story of Forgetting

Stefan Merrill Block

American Spy

Lauren Wilkinson

Once Upon a River

Diane Setterfield


Alan Trotter

Shifting Colours

Fiona Sussman

The Honey Guide

Richard Crompton

The Informers

Juan Gabriel Vasquez

Only Killers and Thieves

Paul Howarth

The Thing Itself

Adam Roberts

Europe in Autumn

Dave Hutchinson

By Battersea Bridge

Janet Davey


Keith Ridgway

The Scornful Moon

Maurice Gee

City of the Beasts

Isabel Allende

Hotel World

Ali Smith

A Golden Age

Tahmima Anam

How to Stop Time

Matt Haig