This is the best researched book of historical fiction that I have ever read. The story is set in New York in 1883 and everything about it is thoroughly researched and portrayed. Whether describing the streets and buildings, the public institutions, or the practice of medicine and surgery at that time, the book is accurate to both the overall and the detail.
The story and the characters are complex and quite believable. It is a very long book and takes quite some time to get through it. But it is so well written that you just don't mind reading and reading and reading until you absolutely, positively must turn the light off and get some sleep because you have to get up and go to work the next day.
I did not realize that this book is part of a series. It reads completely well by itself. I only mention this because there are several loose threads that are not tidied up by the end of the book and I was puzzled by this until I read on the back that this is the latest book in her Into the Wilderness series. So I can look forward to seeing what happens to the characters in following books.
A really good read.