The Cape Doctor

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In the early 1800s, it was difficult for a girl to make her way in the world, even more so if she were Irish Catholic in England and penniless to boot. But young Margaret is exceptionally smart and exceptionally determined. She agrees to a perilous act: to disguise herself as a boy in order to attend medical school in Edinburgh and earn a living to support herself and her mother. “I was governed by a singular desire: to become a man of consequence…to possess a name as great and honored as my past was obscure.”

With the aid of a few well-placed allies, the plot is set in motion and there can be no turning back. Known as Jonathan, he succeeds at school and travels to Cape Town, where his brusque political skills are no match for his medical prowess. Based on the life of a real person, Levy constructs this well-written novel to explore “What makes a man, a life?” amid questions of what constitutes gender and how one might overcome the limitations enforced by society. It is a fascinating portrait that will linger with you long after you finish reading.


Reviewed By:

Author E. J. Levy
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 352 pages
Publisher Little, Brown and Company
Publish Date 15-Jun-2021
ISBN 9780316536585
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue September 2021
Category Historical Fiction
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