Anatomy: A Love Story

Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz was an interesting and somewhat horrifying historical tale. Hazel Sinnett simply wants to be a surgeon, the only problem is that women aren’t allowed to be.

From Goodreads:

Edinburgh, 1817.

Hazel Sinnett is a lady who wants to be a surgeon more than she wants to marry.

Jack Currer is a resurrection man who’s just trying to survive in a city where it’s too easy to die.

When the two of them have a chance encounter outside the Edinburgh Anatomist’s Society, Hazel thinks nothing of it at first. But after she gets kicked out of renowned surgeon Dr. Beecham’s lectures for being the wrong gender, she realizes that her new acquaintance might be more helpful than she first thought. Because Hazel has made a deal with Dr. Beecham: if she can pass the medical examination on her own, the university will allow her to enroll. Without official lessons, though, Hazel will need more than just her books – she’ll need bodies to study, corpses to dissect.

Lucky that she’s made the acquaintance of someone who digs them up for a living, then.

But Jack has his own problems: strange men have been seen skulking around cemeteries, his friends are disappearing off the streets. Hazel and Jack work together to uncover the secrets buried not just in unmarked graves, but in the very heart of Edinburgh society.

All quotes are from an advanced reader copy, and may or may not reflect the published edition.

“Old age should be feared rather than death.”

This story took me a bit by surprise. While there were moments it seemed to lull, the journey the plot took me on was worth it. The love story that never stopped our main character from her ambitions was also enjoyable to me, and I appreciated the way Schwartz made Hazel continue in her path to being a surgeon- despite it all. This historical tale was not necessarily frightening at any time but was entertaining, nonetheless.

“Mortuis vivos deocent, the dead teach the living.”

Anatomy: A Love Story is a quick read. The prose is to the point, nothing too over flourished but still satisfying. The medical journey felt correct for the time the story was set. Additionally, the paranormal aspects of this didn’t feel too unrealistic. However, at times, the story tended to focus more on the medical journey than the overarching plot. This led me to forget what Hazel was really training for, to begin with. It was almost an afterthought in the end, and that was strange to me.

“I’m not a fool, Jack Currer, no matter how you might think of me.”

“Oh, I assure, Miss Sinnett, I’ve taken you for a lot of things, but a fool was never one of them.”

The tale between Jack and Hazel warmed my heart. I appreciated the way in which their love grew. There is something to a medically cold story that is set with romantic undertones. Dana Schwartz did a fantastic job of intertwining the two concepts into one historical tale worth reading.

“My heart is yours, Hazel Sinnet. Forever. Beating or still.”

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Read more reviews here.