A fast-paced historical novel about a young woman's struggle to become a surgeon in the 1890's with a splash of romance.
Our story begins in July 1890 with the Sea Wing Disaster – the sinking of an excursion boat on Lake Pepin in the Mississippi River with the loss of 98 lives. It then takes a look at the “Indian problem,” and ends in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during the Spanish American War in 1898.
Becky Russell survives the Sea Wing Disaster with the help of Army Lt. Bill Cravats, who resuscitates her after she is pulled from the raging storm waters. Over the next three months, they fall in love.
Bill is reassigned to the 7th Cavalry in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, where he participates in the last famous battle with the Plains Indians, the Battle of Wounded Knee. The next day, at Bloody Pocket, a box canyon where the Indians have the 7th Cavalry pinned down, he is shot while trying to sneak out to get help. After an extensive two-day search in blizzard conditions, the Army does not find his body.
With the help of very influential proponents of women’s rights, Becky is accepted at the Minnesota Medical School. Upon learning that her fiancé, Bill, is missing and presumed dead, she rejects not only the traditional role for women of that time (husband, kids, picket fence), but she also shuns the typical “female” medical occupation (gynecology). Despite being first in her class every term, no major hospital will admit her into their trauma surgeon intern and residency program. Becky embarks on a wild journey to achieve her goal, which ultimately takes her to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during the Spanish American War - and a surprise.