Lake Union Publishing | September 2018 | 364 pgs
Source: Library

The year is 1850, New York. Cora Lee, born out of wedlock to a wealthy socialite and a nameless immigrant, is no ordinary girl like the others. Aside from her mixed lineage, she was born with two hearts. She was raised by her late mother's cousin who had then passed, with only her maid Leah as companions. Since a girl, she was told not to disclose her "ailment" to anyone. Even now as the only female resurrectionist in New York, she would disguise herself as a man in dusk for procuring bodies afflicted with strange anomalies. After all, there are anatomists who are willing to pay exorbitant sums for such specimens, either for medical studies or displaying them for the public like "treasures" in museums. 

However, Cora doesn't do it entirely for money. Like those deceased with strange anomalies, she knew she herself is a prize to fellow resurrectionists and anatomists alike and her profession not only help her in disguising her identity but also keep her in the loop when the jobs are concerned. Despite the news of the girl with two hearts is a legend, Cora knows she has to be extra vigilant and make sure that the legend remains as it is. 

As there is a rise in bodies and competitions among resurrectionists, Cora couldn't help but to suspect if the deceased are murdered instead of passing due to their ailments. To complicate matters, she finds herself attracted to Theodore Flint, a medical student who is interested in learning the trade. But of course Flint doesn't know of her double identity; he knows Cora as a lady but he is more familiar with her "twin" Jacob Lee; the other identity Cora took both for protection as well as her resurrectionist role. As a series of murders unfolds, Cora doesn't know if she could trust anyone, including Flint. 

I've no idea how to articulate my thoughts without giving too much of the story away. I loved this book. It has a combination of historical, mystery, romance and a medical aspect of the human anomalies and the likes. While I loved the time period and the setting, what really stands out to me is the author's writing and the characterisations. The characters are fleshed out and the more I read about them, the more I felt for them. I enjoyed knowing more about the role of a resurrectionist, despite the mobidness and all. Also, women physicians back then aren't as recognised as their male counterparts and this gender inequality is well captured in the story based on one character's situation. Overall what I liked most about this book is Cora - an impossible girl who is brave, opiniated and accepting herself as who she is. 

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18 Responses
  1. Kay Says:

    I'm not at all familiar with this book, but it definitely sounds like one that would keep your interest. Making note of it so that I can do some research on it. Lots of interesting aspects. :-)

  2. bermudaonion Says:

    This sounds good! I wonder if it's possible to be born with two hearts.

  3. jenclair Says:

    I'm so glad you liked it! I thought it was interesting and informative and suspenseful!

  4. Lark Says:

    Another good one to add to my list. I love strong, memorable characters and Cora sounds like a great heroine.

  5. Ash Says:

    I absolutely love the cover for this. I've been wanting to read it, glad it was good!

  6. Melody Says:

    Kay - It has lots of interesting aspects that intrigued me. I'm glad I read it and I hope you'll read it at some point. :)

  7. Melody Says:

    Bermudaonion - It was a great read IMO. And I wonder the same thing like you too.

  8. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Yes, it is all the things you mentioned and I'm so glad I read it.

  9. Melody Says:

    Lark - I love strong, memorable characters too and Cora definitely fits into that category. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did if you get to it. :)

  10. Melody Says:

    Ash - Yes, the cover is lovely, isn't it? Hope you'll enjoy this book!

  11. Verushka Says:

    Cora sounds brilliant! There's so much happening in this book -- and now I need to know how this all comes together!

  12. Angela Says:

    I love historical novels that contain some romance. This sounds like my kind of book!

  13. Melody Says:

    Verushka - Cora is an interesting character and I'd grown to like her the more I read this book.

  14. Melody Says:

    Angela - This book is more on the historical and mystery aspect but the bits of romance adds a perfect touch to this book overall.

  15. I am so glad you loved this one, Melody! As you know, I did too. Cora was such an interesting character, and I learned so much about the time period I didn't know before. It made me want to do a little historical digging. :-)

  16. Iliana Says:

    This sounds so good and different. I really enjoy historical settings so I can't wait to read this one.

  17. Melody Says:

    Wendy - Yes, it was a great book and Cora was definitely an unforgettable character. I'm curious what the author has in store next.

  18. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I hope you'll like it as much as I did when you get to it, Iliana.

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