A Country Doctor

 
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Penguin Classics 2005 (Originally published 1884)

A hundred and thirty years after it was first published, Sarah Orne Jewett’s story of a young medical woman remains an incisive rendering of the dilemmas of gender, society, and self. Nan Prince first becomes interested in medicine as a child, as the ward of the widowed physician Dr. Leslie. In time she becomes his protégée. But when she enters medical college, she realizes that she will have to choose between marriage and her career, between the demands of her society and her obligations to her true self. Inspired by Jewett’s own interests and by her father, A Country Doctor portrays a world very much in flux and Nan, ultimately, as a woman with a new world opening to her.--from the publisher

271 pages   978-0143039266   Ages 13 and up

Though not as well-known as the writers she influenced, Sarah Orne Jewett nevertheless remains one of the most important American novelists of the late nineteenth century. Published in 1884, Jewett's first novel, A Country Doctor, is a luminous portrayal of rural Maine and a semiautobiographical look at her world. In it, Nan's struggle to choose between marriage and a career as a doctor, between the confining life of a small town and a self-directed one as a professional, mirrors Jewett's own conflicts as well as eloquently giving voice to the leading women's issues of her time. Perhaps even more importantly, Jewett's perfect details about wild flowers and seaside wharfs, farm women knitting by the fireside and sailors going upriver to meet the moonlight convey a realism that has seldom been surpassed and stamp her writing with her signature style.-from the jacket flap

271 pages   978-0143039266   Ages 13 and up

Pacing: Descriptive narrative

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