MY NAME IS MARY SUTTER is the debut novel of Robin Oliveira, who gained an MFA at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Ms. Oliveira has a story to tell about a compelling character, the eponymous heroine of this novel, one Mary Sutter, who wishes to become a doctor. If she’d lived nowadays, she would have had no problem. But in 1861, there was no way that this was going to happen, and poor Mary, who is not as conventionally good-looking as her sister, has to endure a great deal of frustration and sadness throughout this novel, both professionally and personally.
This is a wonderful novel about the American Civil War. Ms. Oliveira has done an incredible amount of research, which gives the whole story a note of verisimilitude. She is a wonderful writer with a formidable technique who can handle changing points of view seamlessly in a way that doesn’t disturb the reader. As you read this book, you will feel that you are with Mary as she nurses all those young men who suffered so much during this war. Five stars.