Review of Anatomy: A Love Story

Anatomy: A Love Story Anatomy: A Love Story
by Dana Schwartz
High School    Wednesday/St. Martin’s    352 pp.    g
1/22    978-1-250-77415-6    $18.99
e-book ed.  978-1- 250- 77416- 3    $10.99

In 1817 Edinburgh (a city famous at the time for medical advancements), the fictional “Roman fever” is ripping through the population. This sickness has already taken Hazel Sinnett’s older brother, and she was lucky to survive it herself. Lady Sinnett, Hazel’s mother, does nothing but mourn and dote on her younger son, leaving Hazel with plenty of time to study anatomy on her own, in secret, for it would be most improper for a lady to be interested in medicine. When she meets Jack Currer, a “resurrection man” who steals bodies for medical students to practice on, it seems her dream career might be within reach. A boy’s disguise, a wager with a leading surgeon, and a conveniently empty estate all point to success, but deceit, murder, and vicious deeds in the darkness soon threaten her future, as does her growing fondness for Jack. The setting holds death around every corner, and both sinister and noble characters people the city. While a significant plot point feels abrupt, the (gory) tale is riveting, and Hazel and Jack are sympathetic characters. Visceral and full of sharp historical details as well as some fantastical elements, this is gothic fun for readers with strong stomachs.

From the March/April 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Sarah Berman

Sarah Berman is a middle school special education assistant. She attended the University of St. Andrews, where she studied literature and wrote a dissertation about violence in children's fiction. 

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