I find myself really enjoying this series and looking forward to seeing where it goes next. In this installment, we follow Nora as she attempts to gain a medical education–a real one–in Italy, where they teach female medical students and sexism is solved and everything is great.
JK you know that nothing is that simple. Nora is in Italy and finds herself facing many issues that wouldn’t be so out of date for a woman of the modern world: fellow student (male) doctors who are skeptical of her place and qualifications, fellow students less qualified than her who get nonetheless many more chances that she does, a single other female doctor who is not inclined off the bat to spend her precious social capital on a rather unknown quantity.
On top of all of that, there’s Daniel to consider–the doctor beau that Nora left behind in London, who is trying (and sort of failing) to keep Dr. Croft’s practice going and pay for massive expansions as well. It’s a funny balance for Blake to maintain, Nora’s story in Italy while also not diminishing her love for Daniel and desire to be back home with her people. As someone currently not at home but having a delightful time overseas, I felt Nora’s sense of homesickness + excitement most keenly–reminded me as well of the end of Anne of Green Gables when Anne decides to stay home and do her first year of Queens via correspondence out of a love of Marilla.
As before, Blake does a good job in illustrating the realism of medicine in the 1800s, and how surgeons are as likely to accidentally murder patients as save them out of a simple lack of knowledge (no one washes anything, it is endlessly stressful). Looking forward to reading the next installments in this series!