The Iowa Center for the Book recently announced the 2015 All Iowa Reads title at the Iowa Library Association annual meeting and the book they choose is My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira.

my name is mary sutterAn enthralling historical novel about a young woman’s struggle to become a doctor during the Civil War

In this stunning novel, Mary Sutter is a brilliant, head­strong midwife from Albany, New York, who dreams of becoming a surgeon. Determined to overcome the prejudices against women in medicine – and eager to run away from her recent heartbreak – Mary leaves home and travels to Washington, D.C. to help tend the legions of Civil War wounded. Under the guidance of William Stipp and James Blevens – two surgeons who fall unwittingly in love with Mary’s courage, will, and stubbornness in the face of suffering – and resisting her mother’s pleas to return home to help with the birth of her twin sister’s baby, Mary pursues her medical career in the desperately overwhelmed hospitals of the capital.

My Name Is Mary Sutter powerfully evokes the atmosphere of the Civil War period. Rich with historical detail (including marvelous depictions of Lincoln, Dorothea Dix, General McClellan, and John Hay among others), and full of the tragedies and challenges of wartime, My Name Is Mary Sutter is an exceptional novel. And in Mary herself, Robin Oliveira has created a truly unforgettable heroine whose unwavering determination and vulnerability will resonate with readers everywhere. (description from publisher)

This title is also available as an e-book through the RiverShare Digital Library.

All Iowa Reads encourages all Iowans to read the same book during the year, providing materials and bringing authors and speakers to various venues and encouraging discussion.

May 11

Daybreakers – Willem Defoe, Ethan Hawke, Sam Neill

In the year 2019, an unknown plague has transformed the world’s population into vampires. As the human population nears extinction, so does the blood supply. Now the vampires must find a blood substitute before time runs out. Researcher Edward Dalton and a clandestine group of vampires have made a remarkable discovery, one which has the power to save the human race.

May 18

Extraordinary Measures – Harrison Ford, Brendan Fraser

On the fast track and ready to taste the success of corporate America, John Crowley walks away from it all in hopes of finding a cure for two of his fatally ill children. With his wife Aileen by his side, he teams up with brilliant but unconventional scientist Dr. Robert Stonehill, and together they form a company to develop a life-saving drug. But just when it appears that a solution may be found, the relationship between the men is tested and the fate of John’s children is at stake.

Invictus – Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon

Nominated for two Oscars

Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa’s underdog rugby team as they make an unlikely run to the 1995 World Cup Championship match.