Friday, September 09, 2022

A Nineteenth Century Couples Mystery For YA

 I often have a reason for picking up the books I do, one that goes beyond, "Gee, that looks good." I chose Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz, because it sounds similar to the various adult mystery series I've read that are set in the nineteenth century with a male and female lead who meet somehow, get involved with solving a mystery, one thing leads to another, and romance ensues. Also, not to leave anything to the imagination here, sex.

That pretty much is what happens with Anatomy, which involves an aristocratic young woman who wants to break out of her planned life and become a surgeon. In that era, the study of anatomy was becoming significant in the training of doctors. Bodies to study were few and far between, and the medical community supported grave robbers, known as resurrectionists. Sure enough, our heroine gets tangled up with one who provides her subjects for study.

This was a good book, very readable. I'm not a fan of the direction it took at the end, but that definitely is a just-me thing. Additionally, for those of us accustomed to reading these kinds of stories for the adult market, the romance/sex is very tame. To the point that I was left wondering what happened and just what kind of relationship did these two now have. I hope that this doesn't mean that I need no-doubt-about-it sex scenes. It may be more that I struggle to read between the lines.

Whenever I've read of resurrectionists, the stories have been set in Great Britain. Anatomy takes place in Scotland and inspired me to check out if something similar went on in the United States. Oh, my goodness. Did it ever.

Yeah, the nineteenth century American medical community didn't suffer from an abundance of ethics, at least as we would recognize it today. 

And racist? Oh, yes. Though I suppose doctors back then could have argued that they only seemed like racists, because, hey, these are the bodies we could get.

I am so turned off to medicine right now.    

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