The Woman with the Cure

Book Review of
The Woman With a Cure

Author: Lynn Cullen
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Lynn's Review

The Woman with the Cure

The Woman With The Cure by Lynn Cullen was published in 2023. It is historical fiction set in the 1940s and 1950s. 

I picked this book up after hearing an interview on Friends and Fiction with the author. I am so glad that I did. 

I really enjoyed this historical fiction book about the development of the polio vaccine. I usually prefer historical fiction based on a place or even instead of a famous person, but since Dr. Dorothy Horstmann is not famous, this book took me to a world that I knew nothing about. 

This book was also the perfect book at the perfect time. I read this when I was sick with a bad flare of my asthma. Reading a historical fiction book about the medical world and the research it takes to develop new medicines, and vaccines, and make advances in medicine was just what I needed. My asthma would have killed me long ago if it has not been for the advances in medicine. Reading about these doctors and the work it took to help do away with polio was just the reminder I needed. 

The focus of this book is Dr. Dorothy Horstmann and her contribution to advances in polio research, but this book is about so many more people and things than her. 

The Woman With The Cure does an excellent job of sharing what the medical world was like during the 1940s and 1950s. There were very few woman doctors, which is why this book focuses on Dr. Horstmann, but I was so glad that it also focuses on so many others. 

Many doctors, work incredibly long hours. It can be a tiring, hard job. Not many people will work 80+ hours a week or go days without sleep. Many doctors can and do it simply because it is their job. Whether that is in a hospital or a research lab they do what so many others won’t. 

Yes, there are bad doctors and those that are in it for fame and money, but many of them truly love what they do and are trying to make people’s lives better. 

I appreciated that the author did not just focus on Dr. Dorothy Horstmann, she also showed a fairly good picture of what being a doctor’s wife and a doctor’s family look like, by sharing the personal life of some of Dr. Horstmann’s colleagues. It can be a huge sacrifice. And it wasn’t just wives that sacrificed. 

Overall I enjoyed this book, but I will say that I was a little disappointed when I read the author’s notes after finishing the book. There was quite a bit of fiction mixed in with the facts. More than I would have liked, but it was still a good read. 

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