Hazel is a privileged daughter in high society in 1817 Edinburgh, but she is completely overlooked in her family. Her father is away in the Navy and her mother is mourning the death of her older brother and focused on curating her younger brother as a new heir. This leaves Hazel to immerse herself in academic pursuits – she is obsessed with the idea of becoming a physician – completely unheard of for a woman in her era. She uses all manner of cunning and deceit to weasel her way into famous anatomist, Dr Beecham’s courses. When she’s found out she must turn to an even more dangerous way to obtain specimens to study, grave robbing. Along the way, she and her handsome, grave robbing crush face the Roman fever and a few curious mysteries about the bodies they are digging up and those who are doing similar work.
I’ve read quite a few resurrectionist stories set in Edinburgh in this era, so while I enjoyed this – I think my rating reflects that none of this was super new for me. I do think this story makes a dark era of historic fiction really accessible to this genre of readers though. I did really like Hazel’s laser focus and her determination but I’m not sure she had much of an arc. There is a love story in this one, but that didn’t do much for me. I was there for the science and the girl power. ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced copy of this novel. All opinions above are my own.