by Melissa Lenhardt
Women's Fiction, General Fiction (Adult)
Pub Date 29 Mar 2016
Advanced review copy courtesy of Netgalley
Sawbones was an enjoyable mix of historical fiction, western and romance. Personally I am not a big fan of romance but the romance storyline was in sync with the rest of the story and it worked well. The author states in her afterward that Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove was an inspiration. Her writing has that same feel. Descriptive and lyrical, the story follows a woman physician, Catherine Bennett, in 1871. To say it was rare for a woman to be in that role at that time in history would be an understatement.
Catherine must flee New York City when accused of a crime she did not commit. She and her lifelong servant end up in Texas. Texas in the 1870’s is a very dangerous place. While the majority of the men were off fighting the civil war, the Native Americans reclaimed some of their lost territory. Sherman and Sheridan are dispatched to Texas to solve the “Indian Problem”.
Catherine finds herself right in the middle of Comanche territory, struggling to maintain her alias but unable to resist using her skills as a doctor. The story is very fast past containing fictional characters like Catherine and real people like Sherman and Sheridan.
Sawbones is a quick and enjoyable read. If you would like to read more about this period of history I strongly suggest S. C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon. It looks like there is a sequel to Sawbones coming. I am looking forward to reading it also. I received an advanced copy of Sawbones from NetGalley in return for a fair review.