The Lobotomist’s Wife by Samantha Greene Woodruff

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 5 out of 5.

When I hear the word “lobotomy” my skin crawls a bit. I didn’t really know the history of the procedure, so I was really interested in reading this book! I felt that the research was amazing, and really gave me great insight into this history.

Ruth is a woman working in a man’s world, so already my attention was captured with this one. As she falls in love with Robert, we learn about the new procedure he thinks will revolutionize mental health. As time goes on though, Ruth begins to see concerning behavior and doubts the safety of his actions.

Ruth befriends Margaret a woman with post-partum depression during this story. I really enjoyed their friendship, and the importance of Ruth’s strength to help save Margaret. Ruth’s character had wonderful development as this story progressed, and her friendship with Margaret really helped to show Ruth’s growth throughout the story. Truly all the characters in this were wonderfully written. They were vividly described and given great personalities that made this one hard to put down.

Overall, I thought this was an amazing story, and I would definitely recommend for readers that enjoy historical fiction and medical storylines!

Where to Find This Book:

Amazon ~ Goodreads

An enthralling historical novel of a compassionate and relentless woman, a cutting-edge breakthrough in psychiatry, and a nightmare in the making.

Since her brother took his life after WWI, Ruth Emeraldine has had one goal: to help those suffering from mental illness. Then she falls in love with charismatic Robert Apter—a brilliant doctor championing a radical new treatment, the lobotomy. Ruth believes in it as a miracle treatment and in Robert as its genius pioneer. But as her husband spirals into deluded megalomania, Ruth can’t ignore her growing suspicions. Robert is operating on patients recklessly, often with horrific results. And a vulnerable young mother, Margaret Baxter, is poised to be his next victim.

Margaret can barely get out of bed, let alone care for her infant. When Dr. Apter diagnoses her with the baby blues and proposes a lobotomy, she believes the procedure is her only hope. Only Ruth can save her—and scores of others—from the harrowing consequences of Robert’s ambitions.

Inspired by a shocking chapter in medical history, The Lobotomist’s Wife is a galvanizing novel of a woman fighting against the most grievous odds, of ego, and of the best intentions gone horribly awry.

Just the Facts:

The Lobotomist’s Wife by Samantha Greene Woodruff
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pub Date: February 1, 2022

Samantha Greene Woodruff has a BA in history from Wesleyan University and an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business. She spent most of her career telling stories to executives at MTV Networks as the senior vice president of strategy and business development and, subsequently, audience research for the Nickelodeon Kids & Family Group. After leaving corporate life, she pursued her varied passions, teaching yoga, cooking, and taking classes at the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. It was here that she combined her multifaceted background with her wild imagination and passion for history, reading, and writing. The Lobotomist’s Wife is her first historical fiction novel, and she is already at work on her next book. Sam lives in southern Connecticut with her husband, two children, and two dogs.

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I was provided a gifted copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.

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