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That Bonesetter Woman

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Meet Endurance Proudfoot – England’s strongest woman, boldest adventurer and first female bonesetter. Endurance Proudfoot only wants one thing in life – to follow her father and grandfather into the family business of bonesetting. It’s a physically demanding job, requiring strength, nerves of steel and discretion – and not the job for a woman. But Durie isn’t like other wo Meet Endurance Proudfoot – England’s strongest woman, boldest adventurer and first female bonesetter. Endurance Proudfoot only wants one thing in life – to follow her father and grandfather into the family business of bonesetting. It’s a physically demanding job, requiring strength, nerves of steel and discretion – and not the job for a woman. But Durie isn’t like other women. She’s strong and stubborn and determined to get her own way. And she finds that she has a talent at bonesetting – her big hands and lack of grace have finally found their natural calling.


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Meet Endurance Proudfoot – England’s strongest woman, boldest adventurer and first female bonesetter. Endurance Proudfoot only wants one thing in life – to follow her father and grandfather into the family business of bonesetting. It’s a physically demanding job, requiring strength, nerves of steel and discretion – and not the job for a woman. But Durie isn’t like other wo Meet Endurance Proudfoot – England’s strongest woman, boldest adventurer and first female bonesetter. Endurance Proudfoot only wants one thing in life – to follow her father and grandfather into the family business of bonesetting. It’s a physically demanding job, requiring strength, nerves of steel and discretion – and not the job for a woman. But Durie isn’t like other women. She’s strong and stubborn and determined to get her own way. And she finds that she has a talent at bonesetting – her big hands and lack of grace have finally found their natural calling.

30 review for That Bonesetter Woman

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jules

    If you follow my reviews or follow me on Twitter, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of books containing female characters who don’t conform to the demands of society, especially in historical times when women weren’t allowed to do anything! So, it’s no surprise that I loved That Bonesetter Woman. Durie is sent away to London from Lewes when her sister, Lucinda, throws the family into shame. They live with their Aunt Ellen who runs a bakery & has no children of her own. Durie had her heart set on becomin If you follow my reviews or follow me on Twitter, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of books containing female characters who don’t conform to the demands of society, especially in historical times when women weren’t allowed to do anything! So, it’s no surprise that I loved That Bonesetter Woman. Durie is sent away to London from Lewes when her sister, Lucinda, throws the family into shame. They live with their Aunt Ellen who runs a bakery & has no children of her own. Durie had her heart set on becoming a Bonesetter, like her father, but it’s not a job for a woman! Eventually, Aunt Ellen encourages Durie to follow her dreams in London but the male dominated medical profession is having none of it. Durie becomes the butt of their jokes & is increasingly pushed to defend the profession she so wishes to do. This book is so wonderfully written, I could feel Durie’s frustrations and humiliation coming off the page. I couldn’t read it fast enough & was so pleased I had an entire day to focus on it. You can’t beat a day spent with Durie! There’s so much more to this book but I don’t want to give away any spoilers. If you’re a historical fiction fan, and a fan of women who don’t take any shit, you’ll love That Bonesetter Woman!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    Oh, what an absolute delight this novel is. So much love and if only I could put it into words to do it justice. ❤️ I dare you not to fall in love with the character of Endurance “Durie” Proudfoot. She’s clumsy, will never be called attractive, doesn’t have an ounce of diplomacy in her body (I hear you, sister!) and made me chuckle out loud from the moment she was introduced to me. Durie just wants one thing in life. To be a bonesetter, like her father and grandfather before her. She learns, she Oh, what an absolute delight this novel is. So much love and if only I could put it into words to do it justice. ❤️ I dare you not to fall in love with the character of Endurance “Durie” Proudfoot. She’s clumsy, will never be called attractive, doesn’t have an ounce of diplomacy in her body (I hear you, sister!) and made me chuckle out loud from the moment she was introduced to me. Durie just wants one thing in life. To be a bonesetter, like her father and grandfather before her. She learns, she studies, she watches and it turns out she actually has the gift for it. Slight problem, though. her father won’t allow her to join him because bonesetting isn’t a job for a woman. But Durie is strong, determined and stubborn. She won’t just give up on her dream. Then there’s Durie’s sister, Lucinda. Pretty, charming, everything Durie is not. Lucinda can wrap everyone around her little finger, charm the pants off the most curmudgeonly person and turn every man’s head. I found Lucinda much harder to connect with, or even to like. She comes across as extremely entitled somehow, seemingly always choosing the easy way out because her looks afford her that possibility every time. But all of this also results in her being banished to London and Durie is to go with her. They’ll be staying with their Aunt Ellen, whom they’ve never met. It will mark the beginning of amazing, and less amazing, events for both of them. I can’t even begin to describe the many ways I loved this novel. To have a story like this, full of incredibly strong and independent women finding their way in a man’s world and pursuing their dreams was just such a joy. Aunt Ellen is at the forefront of pretty much everything. She has been running her own successful shop for years and has absolutely no need for a man. This is in stark contrast with Lucinda who seems to think her life won’t amount to anything without a man in it, and Durie who has already accepted no man will ever want to be with her. I adored Aunt Ellen from the get-go as well. Until at a certain point she does something I didn’t at all agree with and I got quite angry with her. I understood, but I also didn’t. That just goes to show how invested I had become in the lives of these characters. I desperately wanted all the good things for them, for them to succeed in their endeavours. Of course, Durie’s path isn’t one made of roses. There are obstacles, mainly from men who can’t stand a woman “invading their patch”. There is a dash of romance that comes with quite a bit of predictability, but I didn’t care one bit. Mostly because considering the times, it came across as entirely plausible. There is heartbreak, loss, grief but also love, family and sheer determination to pick yourself up when you fall, hold your head up high, and keep chasing your dreams. I loved everything about ‘That Bonesetter Woman‘. I loved the characters and the setting, the two very different worlds Lucinda and Durie move in, the witty moments and yes, even that little bit of romance. I found myself utterly absorbed and engrossed from start to finish. This novel offered the perfect escapism and I was a tad sad when it ended because I gladly would have spent a lot more time with Durie. Truly delightful and I would definitely recommend it. Frances Quinn (‘The Smallest Man‘ wasn’t a fluke 😉) has now firmly found herself a spot on my list of go-to authors. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Thebooktrail

    Discover the locations in That Bonesetter Woman Never have I loved a character more than Endurance Proudfoot. Her name for a start makes her stand out. Her desire to become a bonesetter in a man’s world marks her out. What really made her come alive on the page for me however was her wit and humour, her dry sarcasm and almost childlike honesty. There’s a scene in a cupboard where her commentary of what she can see make me snort orange juice out of my nose. Totally worth it! The plot is a very inte Discover the locations in That Bonesetter Woman Never have I loved a character more than Endurance Proudfoot. Her name for a start makes her stand out. Her desire to become a bonesetter in a man’s world marks her out. What really made her come alive on the page for me however was her wit and humour, her dry sarcasm and almost childlike honesty. There’s a scene in a cupboard where her commentary of what she can see make me snort orange juice out of my nose. Totally worth it! The plot is a very interesting one. I had never really heard of bonesetting and certainly not the way they did it back in Georgian London. I squirm when I see it on 24 Hours in A&E so there were scenes where I did feel a bit faint but it’s so good, the writing and characters kept me going. Durie, bless her, saved me on many an occaision. This remarkable tale is inspired by two very real bonesetters of their time and if the real Endurance had been half as witty as the fictional one then I hope someone invents a time machine as I want to meet her. She stops at nothing to become a bonesetter and help her father. When that fails, she sets up on her own and gives the grumpy London doctors as good as she gets. How I cheered when she got one up on them or fired a comment their way. It’s not all plain sailing of course and the poor girl goes ghrough hell but I loved the way she never let anything stop her. When she couldn’t view human bones, she went to the Tower of London and watched lions and monkeys. There’s a heartbreaking thread about the Foundling Hospital and that was sad. Once again, it’s Endurance who comes through. These two story threads blended well with each other and the ending was a big pile of bones wrapped up with a mash of ribbons (well this is Endurance we are taling about) Excellent writing and pacing, wonderful characters that really did come alive off the page and a fascinating look at Georgian London and the medical practices of the day.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Fran Hill

    Frances Quinn is fast becoming one of my new favourite novelists. I read her debut 'The Smallest Man' this year and loved it to bits, recommending it to everyone. Then I won a proof copy of her new novel 'That Bonesetter Woman' (publication July 2022) in a competition. In this story, the author has created yet another main protagonist who grabs you by the heart and doesn't let go until you've found out how they fare. I don't normally read 'historical fiction' as such but in both novels Quinn cre Frances Quinn is fast becoming one of my new favourite novelists. I read her debut 'The Smallest Man' this year and loved it to bits, recommending it to everyone. Then I won a proof copy of her new novel 'That Bonesetter Woman' (publication July 2022) in a competition. In this story, the author has created yet another main protagonist who grabs you by the heart and doesn't let go until you've found out how they fare. I don't normally read 'historical fiction' as such but in both novels Quinn creates a historical setting for her characters with very little fuss which probably shows how much work she puts into it. Also, the character of Endurance Proudfoot and her resilience is will not easily be forgotten; I kept thinking 'How much MORE can this character take?' but, of course, that's what keeps you turning the pages. I especially liked the short chapters in this one, too, which again kept up the pace. Next, please!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Emma Hardy

    Absolutely loved this glorious read. Felt immersed into this world straight away and I felt that I was walking those streets with Endurance. The Foundling hospital storyline was delicately done and so thought provoking. This is a really unusual storyline, and Dorie stands out as a real heroine of her time. Its hard to say too much without spoilers but I was enthralled by the way she handled the constant put downs of her work. Sweet, endearing Endurance, riveting.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Before reading this book I had very little awareness of the existence of bonesetters or what they did. I now know it involved a combination of the skill of an orthopaedic surgeon in setting fractures and that of an osteopath in treating painful joints. I certainly had no idea there were women who performed such a role. But, in her Author’s note, Frances reveals the inspiration for Endurance was a real person – Sally Mapp – a bonesetter who found fame in eighteenth century England. Other elements Before reading this book I had very little awareness of the existence of bonesetters or what they did. I now know it involved a combination of the skill of an orthopaedic surgeon in setting fractures and that of an osteopath in treating painful joints. I certainly had no idea there were women who performed such a role. But, in her Author’s note, Frances reveals the inspiration for Endurance was a real person – Sally Mapp – a bonesetter who found fame in eighteenth century England. Other elements of Sally’s life are to be found in the story of her fictional alter ego, Endurance ‘Durie’ Proudfoot. Durie’s story is a familiar one, that of a woman thwarted in achieving her ambition by discrimination and the social conventions of the day. Although her Aunt Ellen’s belief is that ‘if there’s work a woman’s got a talent for, she ought to do it’, it’s not as easy as that. Firstly, Durie faces opposition from her father who, whilst acknowledging she has skill, holds firmly to the belief that bonesetting is a man’s work.  An unexpected, and initially unwanted, move to London for reasons related to Durie’s sister, Lucinda – plus a helping of good fortune – finally seems to provide the opportunity for Durie to perform the work she believes she was born to do.  Her aunt’s commercial acumen initially brings Durie success but proves disastrous in other respects. Soon Durie is facing some pretty underhand tactics from those who cannot tolerate the idea of a woman bonesetter or, perhaps, feel threatened by her success. Unfortunately Durie’s plainspeaking and inability to ‘flannel’ only inflames the situation. The three main female characters, Durie, Lucinda and Aunt Ellen, have things in common – determination, resilience and a desire for independence – but exhibit them in entirely different ways. Lucinda, despite coming across as shallow, hard-hearted and even duplicitous at times, nevertheless knows what it will take to succeed and nothing and no-one is going to stop her. Aunt Ellen, whom Durie concedes ‘was a lot more interesting than she’d seemed’ has built a successful business, eschewing marriage because it will mean her husband has control over everything she owns. Durie has an unflinching belief that she has the ‘knack’ of bonesetting and can help people who have been let down by conventional medicine. There’s a feminist element running through the story. When a rift occurs between Lucinda and Durie, Aunt Ellen counsels them that they are stronger together. ‘All women are. You’ve both seen enough of men to know you can’t count on them. So make sure you can count on each other.’ As it turns out, there is one man that can be counted on. One of the fantastic elements of the book is the way it immerses you in the life of Georgian London. There are lively scenes at the theatre as the audience’s appetite for sentimental storylines and outrageous adventures is quenched. We visit the coffee houses where patrons peruse the news sheets for details about the latest antics of members of the aristocracy – who they’ve been seen with, what they’re wearing, the establishments they patronise. The Georgian equivalent of today’s social media influencers, if you like. Not forgetting the residents of the Tower of London menagerie who play such an important (matchmaking) part in the story. There are several heartbreaking aspects to the book: Durie’s erroneous belief that she is responsible for a tragic event; the unworldiness that means she is vulnerable to manipulation and betrayal; and an intervention made with the best of intentions but that is utterly wrong.  In contrast, a particularly heartwarming storyline is neatly brought to a conclusion by means of a touching postscript. In the Acknowledgments section the author talks about the experience of writing a second novel, including the nagging question: was the first one (The Smallest Man) a ‘fluke’? On the evidence of That Bonesetter Woman I can definitely say it wasn’t a fluke.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Linda Kelly

    Oh I really loved this one. What a fabulous character Endurance Proudfoot is!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jessie Lewis

    A thoroughly charming book. With her filterless straight-talking, inability to lie, and obvious dyspraxia, the main character, Drurie, has an innocent quality that suggests some autistic spectrum traits, and it gives the narration a unique, almost factual, occasionally child-like feel that I found intriguing. The horrible misogyny and bullying Drurie endures, as well as her extreme naivety and credulity, is at times difficult to read, but her spirit and eventual triumph is more uplifting as a re A thoroughly charming book. With her filterless straight-talking, inability to lie, and obvious dyspraxia, the main character, Drurie, has an innocent quality that suggests some autistic spectrum traits, and it gives the narration a unique, almost factual, occasionally child-like feel that I found intriguing. The horrible misogyny and bullying Drurie endures, as well as her extreme naivety and credulity, is at times difficult to read, but her spirit and eventual triumph is more uplifting as a result. There is some predictability to the story, but that was not a bad thing for me. I like to see a happy ending coming on the horizon. There were also a good number of Historical Fiction tropes, but I thought they were dealt with with quite a nice twist. The foundling child's mother was not upset about the situation. The step mother was not evil. The single women didn't all want a wealthy husband. The rich people weren't all bad and the poor people weren't all good. The premise, loosely based on a real historical character apparently, was really interesting and gave a superb angle from which to view a sector of Georgian society that we don't often see--the doctors, lawyers and merchants, as opposed to the extremes of society, the elite or servant classes, which is more common in historical fiction. I wouldn't have minded a bit more of the bone-crunching action, which is a weird thing to say, but I found I enjoyed watching Drurie work, and for large parts of the book, she didn't. There were also parts of the book that felt glossed over or simplified, but that's to be expected in a story that spans 5 years. Overall, I found the whole thing a delight to read, and the very last letter gave me a happy tear in my eye. Would definitely recommend.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bookworm Blogger

    I’d like to thank NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for approving me for an ARC of this book. I really enjoyed the audio version of Frances Quinn’s previous novel, The Smallest Man, and couldn’t wait to read her latest. From the start Durie is the type of character you want to see succeed. She’s clearly different to her sister Lucinda and has clear plans on what she wants to do with her life. Unfortunately Durie’s passions break out of the social norms and even her father isn’t keen to help her achi I’d like to thank NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for approving me for an ARC of this book. I really enjoyed the audio version of Frances Quinn’s previous novel, The Smallest Man, and couldn’t wait to read her latest. From the start Durie is the type of character you want to see succeed. She’s clearly different to her sister Lucinda and has clear plans on what she wants to do with her life. Unfortunately Durie’s passions break out of the social norms and even her father isn’t keen to help her achieve them. What I came to admire was not just Durie’s no nonsense attitude but the way she held herself during difficult times and fought with determination to get what she wanted. Arguably, thanks to the influence of her Aunt Ellen, Durie does lose sight of what her end game is but you can’t fault her or her aunt for their business like minds. It’s actually because of Ellen that you see Durie achieving more than she originally planned and despite my early reservation Ellen becomes a great crutch for Durie. The journey through all her difficulties and obstacles that she faced were brilliantly written. This story beautifully captures life in a male dominant world, where women are expected to achieve nothing but birth children and keep their husbands happy. I was cheering Durie and Ellen on happy to see them break from the mould and take London by storm. Another fantastic read from Frances Quinn, I look forward to many more!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Cornelius

    That Bonesetter Woman by Frances Quinn I chose a peculiar time to read this novel. I am currently recuperating from a dislocated ankle and have broken two bones in my ankle and my shin bone. So to read a book about a woman who puts people’s bones back into place was a strange choice but one I am so glad I made. The story is set in the 1750’s and focuses on Durie who sees herself as a big clumsy woman but who then finds that her strength could be put to good use helping those who have broken or dis That Bonesetter Woman by Frances Quinn I chose a peculiar time to read this novel. I am currently recuperating from a dislocated ankle and have broken two bones in my ankle and my shin bone. So to read a book about a woman who puts people’s bones back into place was a strange choice but one I am so glad I made. The story is set in the 1750’s and focuses on Durie who sees herself as a big clumsy woman but who then finds that her strength could be put to good use helping those who have broken or dislocated bones. Her father is a bonesetter is she is in awe when she sees him put back in a man’s dislocated shoulder and ease his terrible pain almost instantaneously. I love the scene where she hides in a cupboard in her father’s practice room and is so horrified when the reverend lowers his undergarments and reveals what is underneath that her hiding place is revealed. She is determined to persuade her father that she can work with him despite being a woman but she has a younger brother who should, because he is male, work with his father. Then events occur which thwart her plans to prove herself to her father. Her sister, who is charming, graceful and eye-catching, becomes pregnant and has to be sent to live with an aunt in London until her indiscretion can be resolved. In London her story develops in a fascinating manner and the minor characters we meet are well drawn. The life of a woman in London is not easy and the obstacles which Durie has to overcome are numerous. The author creates a vivid picture of London in the 1750’s with its cake shops, theatres and coffee houses. The menagerie in the Tower of London and the Foundling Museum and the way it conducted its business are also well imagined. I found Durie a believable and empathetic character and will be wholeheartedly recommending this novel to members of my various book groups. Also, if you have not also read it, I would recommend Frances Quinn’s previous novel The Smallest Man. Many thanks to Frances Quinn, Simon and Schuster and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this novel in return for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bree (AnotherLookBook)

    A favorite read of the year.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Fay Roberts

    That Bonesetter woman is Durie (Endurance) Proudfoot. Raised by her Bonesetter father and stepmother in 18th centaury Lewes, the ungainly and forthright Durie realises she has a talent for bonesetting on an impromptu work visit with her father. It's no job for a woman though according to the folks around her and her only shot at proving herself comes when her stepbrother, Richie, proves to have a weak stomach for the work. In a bid to spur Richie on, her father pits the two against each other in That Bonesetter woman is Durie (Endurance) Proudfoot. Raised by her Bonesetter father and stepmother in 18th centaury Lewes, the ungainly and forthright Durie realises she has a talent for bonesetting on an impromptu work visit with her father. It's no job for a woman though according to the folks around her and her only shot at proving herself comes when her stepbrother, Richie, proves to have a weak stomach for the work. In a bid to spur Richie on, her father pits the two against each other in competition, dangling the promise of a job as his assistant as a reward. All Durie's hopes are crushed when her beautiful sister, Lucinda, is seduced and impregnated by the local lord and the pair are shipped off to Aunt Ellen in London for Lucinda's laying in. Aunt Ellen is a successful businesswoman, who's cool head for business and inner knowledge of the workings of London society stand the two girls in good stead as they rise and fall in the London scene and discover what exactly each of them requires to be happy. That Bonesetter Woman contains the hallmarks of historical fiction - un-wanted pregnancy and a foundling hospital - check. Falling in love with someone already married - check. Being hoodwinked by a handsome rogue after your money - check. Fall from grace but rising above it - check. However, it does it in a really good way. It never turns mawkish and there's no weeping and wailing in hovels. It never falls into the category I like to affectionately term "poverty porn". Another way that makes this novel stand out is its celebration of female strength. Aunt Ellen chooses to remain a spinster and is happy as such, Durie shows that hard work pays off, Lucinda unashamedly cashes in on her looks and the rest of her family accept it (no bemoaning her for a whore and turning their backs on her here - instead they make sure she has a contract before she sets up as a mistress), and the stepmother shows hard work and skill in business and contentment in marriage and motherhood. All aspects of femininity are shown and celebrated and I enjoyed the representation that not all women find happiness in the same quarters. This is a story of redemption, love, and accepting yourselves and others as they are. I feel a bit mean giving only 2 stars but according to the Goodreads rating system that means the book was "OK". And it is OK. It's not ground breaking in any way but it's a nice story told in an easy accessible way. It's also not high literature so there's no playing around with concept and style which is just perfect for upcoming summer travel. It's a book accessible to all readers and it's lack of "scenes of a sexual nature" and bad language mean that it's one you can share with older teens on holiday. It's predictability brings a sense of comfort whilst reading and it's overall feelgood nature uplifts the reader. You can't help but cheer the awkward and forthright Durie on. That Bonestter Woman is a engaging and uplifting historical tale which will be enjoyed by fans of Lesley Pearce and Dangerous Women by Hope Adams.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    I loved this! I’ll admit that when I first saw that this was a novel about a female bonesetter in the 18th century, I was sceptical. Was this really something a woman would be able to do at that time or was this going to be another book, like one or two others I’ve read recently, based around a completely anachronistic idea that could never have happened in reality? Then I discovered that there really was a female bonesetter working in London in the 1700s: her name was Sally Mapp and her story h I loved this! I’ll admit that when I first saw that this was a novel about a female bonesetter in the 18th century, I was sceptical. Was this really something a woman would be able to do at that time or was this going to be another book, like one or two others I’ve read recently, based around a completely anachronistic idea that could never have happened in reality? Then I discovered that there really was a female bonesetter working in London in the 1700s: her name was Sally Mapp and her story has provided Frances Quinn with the inspiration for her latest novel. That Bonesetter Woman begins with Endurance Proudfoot – known as Durie – arriving in London in 1757 with her sister, Lucinda. The unmarried Lucinda has found herself pregnant and, with Durie accompanying her, has been hastily packed off to stay with an aunt so that she can give birth away from prying eyes at home. Durie is not at all happy to be sent away; she had been on the verge of persuading her father, a bonesetter, to allow her to work with him as his assistant. Now it looks as though the position will go to her younger brother instead. This is devastating for Durie – with her large hands and feet, social awkwardness and tendency to always say and do the wrong thing, bonesetting is the one thing she’s discovered she’s good at. Watching with a mixture of admiration and resentment as Lucinda overcomes her own personal crisis and launches a new career for herself on the London stage, Durie decides it’s time to take matters into her own hands. She’s determined to find a way to do the work she loves and nothing is going to stop her. This is a fascinating novel, particularly as it’s loosely based on the lives of real people (like Durie, Sally Mapp was believed to have a sister, Lavinia Fenton, who became a famous London actress). I enjoyed reading about Durie’s work as a bonesetter – similar to a modern-day chiropractor or osteopath, I think – but what particularly interested me was seeing the obstacles she had to overcome to be allowed to carry out her work at all, the mistrust from patients on discovering that they were going to be treated by a woman, and the hostility she faces from the existing, exclusively male, medical community. Poor Durie experiences one setback after another, but her passion for bonesetting and helping those in pain really shines through. Although Durie is not considered a great beauty like her sister, she does have love interests throughout the novel but her lack of self-confidence leads to her making mistakes and poor decisions. Nothing ever seems to go her way, but while things often look bleak for Durie I never stopped hoping that she would find happiness and success in the end. As I come to the end of this review I realise there are a lot of things I haven’t mentioned – the vivid portrayal of 18th century London, the menagerie in the Tower of London, the subplot involving the Foundling Hospital – but there’s so much going on in this novel, I can’t include all of it! It’s a great book and I will have to find time to read Frances Quinn’s previous novel, The Smallest Man.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Louise Fein

    I was really excited to read this novel because I adored this author's first novel, The Smallest Man. But I loved That Bonesetter Woman even more! This is such an uplifting, charming, addictive and unusual story. Even though set in Georgian England, so many of the themes and troubles of the wonderfully drawn Endurance Proudfoot are as relatable today as they were in the 1700's. Quinn has an incredible talent for creating character, and just like Nat in her debut novel, I was thoroughly behind Du I was really excited to read this novel because I adored this author's first novel, The Smallest Man. But I loved That Bonesetter Woman even more! This is such an uplifting, charming, addictive and unusual story. Even though set in Georgian England, so many of the themes and troubles of the wonderfully drawn Endurance Proudfoot are as relatable today as they were in the 1700's. Quinn has an incredible talent for creating character, and just like Nat in her debut novel, I was thoroughly behind Durie's every step in this book. The minor characters are equally well drawn, and along with the intriguing and well-paced plot, Quinn delivers astute and acutely observed aspects of human behaviour delivered with great humour and compassion. Replace the coffee houses and newspaper scribblers with Twitter and YouTube, and well, not much has changed. I can't wait for Quinn's next novel!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dan Bassett

    She could never fit in. So she decided to stand out. Meet Endurance Proudfoot: the clumsy carthorse of a woman, strong as the mighty ox, with a tongue which lands her in hot water on a near-daily basis and a face that even a mother may struggle to love, or that is what she thinks anyway. Durie wants more out of life than surely possible for someone of her gender and station: she wants to become a bonesetter just like her father, to help those in need even if they don’t have the coin, yet he is stea She could never fit in. So she decided to stand out. Meet Endurance Proudfoot: the clumsy carthorse of a woman, strong as the mighty ox, with a tongue which lands her in hot water on a near-daily basis and a face that even a mother may struggle to love, or that is what she thinks anyway. Durie wants more out of life than surely possible for someone of her gender and station: she wants to become a bonesetter just like her father, to help those in need even if they don’t have the coin, yet he is steadfast and adamant that the job of a bonesetter is that of men, not women. Strong-willed and ever stubborn, Durie is determined to alter her fate and change his mind, but her plans are destroyed when she is sent off to London with her flawless and beautiful sister, whose attempts to enter high society have ended in something most scandalous and neither knows just what is waiting for them which will see the sisters gamble with life, win some, lose plenty and perhaps both will gain something of value far greater than a simple life lesson could ever teach them, be it through having to impress those whose opinions far from matter, or admitting that everyone needs help sometimes. Durie is no fool as she knows the dream she chases is far from an easy one, should be serious enough in her endeavours to ensure her own good fortune and maybe one day become the one thing she has always set out to be. However, Durie shall have to tread carefully as there are many waiting to take advantage of one’s hopes and dreams, should she leave herself vulnerable. Charming, atmospheric, inventive, and uplifting, this tale of courage and hope is truly wonderful from start to finish and one that is hard to put down.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Vivienne

    My thanks to Simon & Schuster UK for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘That Bonesetter Woman’ by Frances Quinn. Last year I had adored Quinn’s debut, ‘The Smallest Man’, so I was pleased to read her latest novel set in 18th Century England. It was excellent and further confirmed for me Quinn’s storytelling skills. In the summer of 1757 Endurance (Durie) Proudfoot and her sister, Lucinda, arrive in London to stay with their Aunt Ellen, who owns a confectioner’s shop catering to an elite clientele. The si My thanks to Simon & Schuster UK for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘That Bonesetter Woman’ by Frances Quinn. Last year I had adored Quinn’s debut, ‘The Smallest Man’, so I was pleased to read her latest novel set in 18th Century England. It was excellent and further confirmed for me Quinn’s storytelling skills. In the summer of 1757 Endurance (Durie) Proudfoot and her sister, Lucinda, arrive in London to stay with their Aunt Ellen, who owns a confectioner’s shop catering to an elite clientele. The sisters are very different in appearance; while Lucy is pretty and delicate; Durie is large, strong, and clumsy. The narrative follows the sisters’ time in London with occasional flashbacks to their earlier lives. Durie has only ever wanted one thing in life - to follow her father and grandfather into the family business of bonesetting. It’s a physically demanding job, requiring strength, nerves of steel and discretion – and according to her father it is not a job suitable for a woman. When Durie perseveres demonstrating a talent for bonesetting, her father trains her alongside her younger brother. Then Lucinda goes into service and receives the attentions of the son of her employers, she is sent away to discreetly deliver the baby. Durie isn’t happy to interrupt her training yet accompanies her sister to London. Encouraged by her aunt, she begins to see patients and her reputation grows. Meanwhile, after her baby is taken in by the Foundling Hospital, Lucy finds success in the theatre, becoming one of the first celebrities of Georgian London.   As Durie becomes widely celebrated as the first female bonesetter, she begins to encounter resistance from the male physicians determined to undermine her. In her Author’s Note Frances Quinn writes of the inspirations that she drew on for her second novel. Endurance is loosely based on Sally Mapp, an 18th Century woman who became famous as a bonesetter and later denounced as a quack by the medical establishment of the period. When researching Mapp’s life Quinn found some sources that claimed that Sally’s sister was Lavinia Felton, a celebrated actress of the period. So, the fictional Proudfoot sisters were born. As with ‘The Smallest Man’, Quinn’s research into the period was impeccable and I felt completely immersed in the narrative as if I were walking the streets of Georgian London, visiting its coffee houses, and always cheering on Durie as she followed her vocation against all odds. Highly recommended. Note: every time the surname Proudfoot was mentioned, I would think of the Hobbit clan and their insistence of being addressed as Proudfeet when more than one family member was present.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kirsty

    Sometimes it’s just nice to read a book that’s…like, nice. This was so fun, charming and quite compelling really. It felt like a no frills, solid read — but in a positive way. It was nicely written but it wasn’t bogged down in anything. Just a good, fun historical fiction. I found it was well paced and interesting and really I don’t think you could ask for more. When it comes to character, whilst at times I felt frustrated for/by her, I really enjoyed Durie and her frank, driven nature and unfor Sometimes it’s just nice to read a book that’s…like, nice. This was so fun, charming and quite compelling really. It felt like a no frills, solid read — but in a positive way. It was nicely written but it wasn’t bogged down in anything. Just a good, fun historical fiction. I found it was well paced and interesting and really I don’t think you could ask for more. When it comes to character, whilst at times I felt frustrated for/by her, I really enjoyed Durie and her frank, driven nature and unfortunate naïveté. Her head-to-head with the medical establishment were funny. I rooted for her and I wanted her to get the ending she earned. My heart broke for her when she realised that her romance was -ahem- unconventional, but if she is taking any more applications for sugar-babies then not only am I available, but also ever since I started my desk job I have no shortage of bones which need to be cracked. Talking of earning, I loved the way the novel portrayed the ways women could have self-sustained careers in London during the 1700s, but didn’t shy away from the reality that theirs was much more fragile than those of men. Everything seemed very grounded and nothing seemed anachronistically outlandish. Reading in the author’s note that the story was somewhat inspired by a pair of real women was really interesting, too. I love the care and detail given to the representation of the bone setting vocation. It wasn’t something I was overly familiar with, and between that and the lions brought something fun and fresh to the historical setting. I really enjoyed the sisters’ relationship; while it would’ve been easy to totally rip the humanity away from Lucinda and turn her into an unpleasant bitch, I definitely think we got a good sense that there was a lot more to her than initially meets the eye, and I was delighted by her story and character arcs too. Damn, just…what an enjoyable book. It’s not the most stunningly written, or at its core the most groundbreaking storyline (as far as the romance goes), it is charming, original, and just a good time.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karen Rós

    I’ve been reading this on and off for a while and finally finished it today. I usually have a hard time finding historical fiction that I like, for various reasons, but this somehow just worked for me. I think part of it is the accessible language - this isn’t dumbed down by any means, just told in a flowing (not flowery) language that pulls you along. and maybe the dialogue isn’t historically accurate, and maybe I wish a teensy bit that it had been less modern and more true to the period, but…I I’ve been reading this on and off for a while and finally finished it today. I usually have a hard time finding historical fiction that I like, for various reasons, but this somehow just worked for me. I think part of it is the accessible language - this isn’t dumbed down by any means, just told in a flowing (not flowery) language that pulls you along. and maybe the dialogue isn’t historically accurate, and maybe I wish a teensy bit that it had been less modern and more true to the period, but…I can’t bring myself to care, because I liked everything else so much. Durie was lovely, headstrong and kind, made to feel insecure but ultimately she found her pen strength - through the love of people in her life. One of my favourite things in historical fiction (in general too but especially historical) is when women support and lift each other up. Durie says at the end of the book that she was lucky to have had two mothers who loved her, referring to her mother and stepmother. I’d posit she had three mothers who loved her, including her aunt who took care of her in infancy and supporter her in adulthood helping her establish a business of her own. There were also Points Made about patriarchy, sexism, misogyny, etc. - not that I don’t care, it was infuriating to see Durie have to deal with men attempting to thwart her or take advantage of her, I just don’t think that it is this book’s strongest point, and its not the one I cared about most. I cared about Durie’s kindness and the choices she made to help and support other people and how these choices ultimately enriched her life.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Emma Hardy

    Absolutely loved this glorious read. Felt immersed into this world straight away and I felt that I was walking those streets with Endurance. The Foundling hospital storyline was delicately done and so thought provoking. This is a really unusual storyline, and Dorie stands out as a real heroine of her time. Its hard to say too much without spoilers but I was enthralled by the way she handled the constant put downs of her work. Sweet, endearing Endurance, riveting.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nicolle Roxborough

    Endurance Proudfoot never felt like she fit in. Her big hands make embroidery and other ladylike pursuits difficult and her knack for honesty often lands her into trouble. When she goes out with her father who works as a bonesetter, suddenly she finds a calling. This is what she’s meant to do. Unfortunately, she’s a woman and bonesetting is a man’s job. Or so they say. After her sister Lucy gets into trouble, they are both packed off to London to live with their Aunt. There Durie becomes determin Endurance Proudfoot never felt like she fit in. Her big hands make embroidery and other ladylike pursuits difficult and her knack for honesty often lands her into trouble. When she goes out with her father who works as a bonesetter, suddenly she finds a calling. This is what she’s meant to do. Unfortunately, she’s a woman and bonesetting is a man’s job. Or so they say. After her sister Lucy gets into trouble, they are both packed off to London to live with their Aunt. There Durie becomes determined to follow her dream, no matter what it takes. Drurie is one of those characters that will stay with you for a long time. Her resolve, strength and sheer stubbornness to overcome any adversity thrown at her made her such a fantastic heroine. The issues she faced in Georgian London still have parallels today; the male doctors diminishing and insulting her at every opportunity simply because they felt threatened. Frances Quinn creates a world where against all odds this clumsy, plain, big woman achieves the impossible; but it’s not without heartache and loss. We follow Drurie through all the ups and downs as she battles to be accepted Quite simply - I loved her and I loved this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nanci

    Wonderful wonderful wonderful! Sometimes these Regency Georgian era books can be a little monotonous but described my attention all the way through! And 100% clean!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    3.5 stars I was somewhat charmed by Durie, and her single mindedness in being who she wanted to be. She stood up where so many others couldn't, not just a woman in a man's world, but one mocked for nearly everything in her life. Her warmth for some of the other characters really shone through in the book. An endearing character, with a intriguing story, that I might be thinking about for some time. 3.5 stars I was somewhat charmed by Durie, and her single mindedness in being who she wanted to be. She stood up where so many others couldn't, not just a woman in a man's world, but one mocked for nearly everything in her life. Her warmth for some of the other characters really shone through in the book. An endearing character, with a intriguing story, that I might be thinking about for some time.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Endurance “Durie” Proudfoot is going to be a bonesetter regardless of what her father or society thinks and good for her! This book follows her on that difficult journey from the quiet rural land of Lewes to the hubbub of London. The characters throughout the story are all well developed but my favourite has to be Durie. I loved her personality; a strong, formidable woman who knows what she wants and although she may be a little naïve and clumsy she is determined and, most importantly, kind. I re Endurance “Durie” Proudfoot is going to be a bonesetter regardless of what her father or society thinks and good for her! This book follows her on that difficult journey from the quiet rural land of Lewes to the hubbub of London. The characters throughout the story are all well developed but my favourite has to be Durie. I loved her personality; a strong, formidable woman who knows what she wants and although she may be a little naïve and clumsy she is determined and, most importantly, kind. I really enjoyed following her journey from admiring her fathers work to her fight to succeed in a male dominated career in Georgian England. Her interactions with people were entertaining and fascinating, from romantic partners to the dastardly doctors attempting to discredit her work; she constantly tries to say the right thing but usually ends up being her marvellous self. The book made me laugh and made me want to cry .. and I didn’t want to put it down! I felt transported to that time and could clearly picture the streets and people Durie encountered along the way. I found myself so invested in Durie and wanting her to succeed and prove any doubters wrong. What a brilliant book! I love a bit of historical fiction and could instantly tell how well researched this story was. This book is a really great read and I can’t recommend it enough! Huge thanks to NetGally and Simon & Schuster UK for giving me the chance to be transported into Durie's world. I will also be posting my review on Goodreads, Twitter and Amazon when published.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    That Bonesetter Woman by Frances Quinn is a great historical fiction novel that really kept me entertained. I really enjoyed this book! It was so unique and inspiring (yes historical fiction can be inspiring!). There are some great messages threaded throughout the novel. Acceptance, forgiveness, being true to yourself, and finding one’s path in life. All of this is wrapped up into a great narrative that tells the story, struggles, and the outcome (I don’t want to give it away) of a young woman nam That Bonesetter Woman by Frances Quinn is a great historical fiction novel that really kept me entertained. I really enjoyed this book! It was so unique and inspiring (yes historical fiction can be inspiring!). There are some great messages threaded throughout the novel. Acceptance, forgiveness, being true to yourself, and finding one’s path in life. All of this is wrapped up into a great narrative that tells the story, struggles, and the outcome (I don’t want to give it away) of a young woman named Endurance (Durie) living in England during the mid 1700s trying to fight her way to taking up the family trade of Bonesetting, despite being a female, and tackling life, love, family, and trying to find her own dreams. It was a great book that had a nice pace, storyline, and ending. 5/5 stars Thank you NG and Simon & Schuster UK for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 7/28/22.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Annelies - In Another Era

    Endurance, Durie, Proudfoot dreams of a career as a bonesetter – a kind of 18th century chiropractor – and hopes to be apprenticed by her father to succeed him. But a female bonesetter is not what people are used to. Still, she and her brother are allowed to join their father so he can choose who’s got the knack. But then Durie’s sister Lucinda gets pregnant and the sisters go to their aunt Ellen in London so Luncinda can give up the child to The Foundling Hospital. Drurie sees her dream go up i Endurance, Durie, Proudfoot dreams of a career as a bonesetter – a kind of 18th century chiropractor – and hopes to be apprenticed by her father to succeed him. But a female bonesetter is not what people are used to. Still, she and her brother are allowed to join their father so he can choose who’s got the knack. But then Durie’s sister Lucinda gets pregnant and the sisters go to their aunt Ellen in London so Luncinda can give up the child to The Foundling Hospital. Drurie sees her dream go up in smoke. What a fantastic book! Quinn has such a fine storytelling style and is tremendously good at creating believable characters that you really empathise with. Durie is a sturdily built woman and bold in her speech, which makes her constantly feel out of place. But she is strong and therefore very suitable to become a bonesetter. Her sister Lucinda is her total opposite and tries to get a good position through the men in her life. And then there is Aunt Ellen, who has built a career on her own through her cake shop, without any help from men. As you can tell, there’s a strong feminist theme in this book. The men in Durie’s life (with one exception) make things very difficult for her, especially the other doctors. Purely out of jealousy. You would think that a female chiropractor has sprung from the author’s imagination. But Durie’s story is loosely based on the life of Sally Mapp, a female bonesetter who earned her living in London during the 18th century. There are so many different plot lines in this book: rurie bonesetter’s dream, Lucinda’s career as a stage actress, Ellen’s cake shop, Durie’s visits to the menagerie of the Tower and The Foundling Hospital where Lucinda’s baby ends up. 18th century London really comes alive. I now urgently need to read Quinn’s first book ‘The smallest men’ and look forward to whatever she will write next. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in return for my honest opinion. This is book 7/20 for ‘20 books of summer‘. Dutch review: Endurance, Durie, Proudfoot droomt van een carrière als bonesetter - een soort 18de eeuwse kraker - en hoopt bij haar vader in de leer te mogen om hem op te volgen. Maar een vrouwelijke bonesetter is niet wat de mensen gewend zijn. Toch mogen zij en haar broer met hun vader meelopen zodat hij kan kiezen wie de beste is. Maar dan is Durie's zus Lucinda ongepland zwanger en trekken de zussen naar hun tante in Londen zodat Lucinda daar kan bevallen en het kind kan afstaan aan The Foundling Hospital. Drurie ziet haar droom in rook opgaan. Wat een fantastisch boek! Quinn heeft zo'n fijne vertelstijl en is enorm goed in het scheppen van geloofwaardige personages waar je echt mee meeleeft. Durie is een stevig gebouwde vrouw met weinig fijne motoriek wat ervoor zorgt dat ze constant uit de boot valt. Maar ze is wel sterk en daardoor is ze heel geschikt om bonesetter te worden. Haar zus Lucinda is haar totale tegenpool en probeert via de mannen in haar leven een goede positie te verkrijgen. En dan heb je de tante Ellen die via haar taartenwinkel op eigen houtje een carrière heeft uitgebouwd, zonder hulp van mannen. Er zit een grote feministische lijn in dit boek. De mannen in Durie's leven (op één uitzondering na) maken het haar namelijk allemaal heel moeilijk, zeker de andere dokters. Puur uit jaloezie. Je zou denken dat een vrouwelijke kraker uit de fantasie van de auteur is ontsproten. Maar Durie's verhaal is losjes gebaseerd op het leven van Sally Mapp, een vrouwelijke bonesetter die in London haar kost verdiende tijdens de 18de eeuw. Er zijn zoveel verschillende plotlijnen in dit boek: Durie's bonesetter droom, Lucinda's carrière als toneelactrice, Ellen's taartenwinkel, Durie's bezoekje aan de menagerie van de Tower en The Foundling Hospital waar Lucinda's baby terechtkomt. Het 18de eeuwse Londen komt echt tot leven. Ik moet nu dringend Quinn's eerste boek 'The smallest men' lezen en kijk uit naar wat ze verder nog zal schrijven. Bedankt aan Netgalley en de uitgever voor een exemplaar van dit boek in ruil voor mijn eerlijke mening.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Books By Your Bedside

    Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review. If you had to invite one of the greatest storytellers round for dinner, who would it be, and I agree it would be Frances Quinn. I absolutely adored her debut novel The Smallest Man and was beyond overjoyed to receive a copy of this new one. I am in awe at her ability to write about historical times - fictional or based on truth - and make them fun and modern and approachable, especially y Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review. If you had to invite one of the greatest storytellers round for dinner, who would it be, and I agree it would be Frances Quinn. I absolutely adored her debut novel The Smallest Man and was beyond overjoyed to receive a copy of this new one. I am in awe at her ability to write about historical times - fictional or based on truth - and make them fun and modern and approachable, especially younger readers who many find anything set in the 1700s a bit dull. In the right hands, it is anything but dull, and Frances definitely has the right hands. I’m so jealous of how talented she is at writing and storytelling. What I’d give to sit and have a cuppa with her to pick her brain. Just two novels in, she’s definitely up there with my favourite authors. The kind of author that means I buy everything I ever write and try to thrust the books under people’s noses. I really loved the character of Durie. She is the heroine of our story so it’s not surprising we all want to root for her. I think she could be a new heroine for today’s readers. Okay so she may not do anything earth shattering, but in the 1700s, she stands up to her family, she enters a male profession, she does what can do to live the life she wants, not backing down from what she wants, and I think that’s important to see in fiction. It’s not feminism to shove down peoples throats or to tick boxes. It’s feminism that is needed to survive. I didn’t like Lucinda from the off. She was entitled and spoiled and far too self-cantered for me. Even when she tries to turn herself around, I still wasn’t a fan of her. The same for their Aunt. She blew hot and cold for me. I enjoyed her characterisation immensely, but every now and then she’d do something or say something that irked me. There were a few other characters I have choice opinions on but to voice them would be to spoil the plot so I shall hold back on them. The chapters are relatively short which is always a bonus in my book. The book, at 448 pages is longer than ones I normally enjoy, but the short chapters help it seem fast and snappy, and it never drags on. The thing about short chapters that I like so much, is that you can read a couple in the evening and then put it down, revisiting it in the morning for a couple more chapters. But I should have known with Frances’ writing, it’s not easy to put it down. Which is why I managed to get through it in a day, as it was so tantalising and thrilling, I just had to know what happened to our cast. Before this, I had no knowledge of bonesetters at all, so this has given me a new interest, especially in female bonesetters, and female physicians, and generally, in females who stood up to the norm. This is what she did with her first book. It’s based on truth, a truth that has gone unheard, and so you feel like you’re being entertained and educated at the same time, and that’s a fine balance to find. Much like her first book, I think this would make a stupendous movie or television series. It’s so visual, it’s all there, down to the touch of the clothes on the characters’ backs, the smell of the streets, the insults in the coffee shop and the power of our protagonist. I will certainly be recommending this to all my family and friends as one of THE books of 2022.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Waldron

    Thank you to @simonschusteruk and @franquinn21 for this copy of That Bonesetter Woman in return for an honest review. Description 🔖 Endurance Proudfoot has found that she doesn’t have many talents. She’s not pretty and graceful like her sister Lucinda but she has determination and she’s strong. By chance, she discovers that she does have a gift and it’s following in the footsteps of her father and his father before him. She’s a fantastic bonesetter. Bonesetting however is not a job for a woman. It Thank you to @simonschusteruk and @franquinn21 for this copy of That Bonesetter Woman in return for an honest review. Description 🔖 Endurance Proudfoot has found that she doesn’t have many talents. She’s not pretty and graceful like her sister Lucinda but she has determination and she’s strong. By chance, she discovers that she does have a gift and it’s following in the footsteps of her father and his father before him. She’s a fantastic bonesetter. Bonesetting however is not a job for a woman. It requires strength, a hard stomach and discretion; all of which Durie has, but will the rest of society be able to see past the fact that she’s a woman and will she be able to forge herself a career as the first female bonesetter? General Thoughts 🤔 I didn’t fully know what to expect from this book as I didn’t do an awful amount of research into it, however what I ended up getting was such a lovely story that was heart warming and heart breaking all at the same time. I don’t know why I don’t read more historical fiction, because every time I do, I enjoy it. This book transported me back into 1700’s England and it felt very real to me. The way the characters carried and conducted themselves and the descriptions of the settings were fantastic and brought the whole story to life. Characters 👫👭👬 I think I fell a little bit in love with Durie. She was clumsy and definitely not socially “polite” but she was a gentle woman with such a good heart. I liked that she found her thing and put her whole being behind making it work for herself, no matter what stood in her way. I felt incredibly sad imagining how hurtful it must have been for her having to face the backlash and abuse that she did just for helping people. I started off not liking Aunt Ellen very much. I thought that she was hard faced and strict and was going to rinse every bit of labour out of Durie and Lucinda that she could. However as the story progressed, she slowly grew on me and I realised that ultimately, she wanted the best for both girls and probably would have done anything to help them succeed. Writing Style ✍️ I haven’t read Frances Quinn’s first book but I will definitely be adding it to my TBR as I really enjoyed her style of writing. She created characters that felt like friends that as a reader I could empathise with, love and also disapprove of. As mentioned previously, I really liked how this author was able to make the time and the place come to life and transport me way back in time without overdoing descriptions and context setting. I especially liked the short chapters in this book; this always makes me turn the pages faster. Conclusion & Scoring 🎖 This was a relatively easy going read, but it did tug on the heart strings. If you like stories with a main character that you can get behind, root for and want to pick up every time they’re knocked down; then you will enjoy this book. I’m looking forward to reading this author’s first book and also seeing what she comes out with next.

  28. 4 out of 5

    KathVBtn

    Frances Quinn has triumphed again, taking an largely forgotten period of history and making it completely alive for the reader without overloading the history. You don't feel weighed down by the historical details, they're just woven in beautifully and just as they should. I adored her first book The Smallest Man and have fallen in love with 'That Bonesetter Woman' in exactly the same way, I haven't stopped talking about it since I read it. 'That Bonesetter Woman' is the story of Endurance Proudf Frances Quinn has triumphed again, taking an largely forgotten period of history and making it completely alive for the reader without overloading the history. You don't feel weighed down by the historical details, they're just woven in beautifully and just as they should. I adored her first book The Smallest Man and have fallen in love with 'That Bonesetter Woman' in exactly the same way, I haven't stopped talking about it since I read it. 'That Bonesetter Woman' is the story of Endurance Proudfoot, known to everyone as Durie - she is clumsy and not delicate, unlike her older sister Lucinda who turns heads everywhere she goes. Durie's father is a bonesetter, helping members of their community to fix broken bones, dislocated shoulders, sprained ankles etc. He's always said the gift passes down from generation to generation, father to son, Could it be possible for the gift to pass to a daughter too? Durie helps her father out in an emergency, and is amazed to find out that for the first time ever, rather than feeling clumsy and ungainly, she is competent and confident. She is desperate to become her father's assistant, but his is set on offering the position to his son, Durie's younger brother. Her father can see she is talented but society deems it unladylike for a woman to be a bonesetter and so he cannot see a way forward. Due to a change in circumstances, Lucinda and Durie move to their aunt's house in London (Aunt Ellen is a phenomenal character!), where both sisters get the chance to find out more about who they want to be and what city life has to offer. Durie accidentally starts work as a bonesetter and then establishes herself, taking on society's preconceptions about femininity, beauty, strength and power as she does, Her story is utterly compelling, I read some parts of the story with my heart in my mouth, willing her to make a different choice, but understanding her reasons for doing what she did. Her character has such a strength and resilience to it, in a similar way to Nat Davey in The Smallest Man - not willing to be told where the boundaries are. 1750s London society felt so real and vivid whilst I was reading it, as did the characters - there are so many back stories I want to know more about! I have already bought my own copy of the book to keep forever- thats how good it is!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Clair Sharpe

    I read and enjoyed The Smallest Man by Frances Quinn earlier this year so I knew I was going to enjoy That Bonesetter Woman, just as much. Durie and her sister Lucinda arrive in London in the summer of 1757 from the town of Lewes to stay with their aunt, a successful business woman. Lucinda is pregnant and has been sent to London by her parents in order to have the baby in secret before returning to Lewes, keeping her reputation intact. Durie is annoyed by this. Before Lucinda found herself pregna I read and enjoyed The Smallest Man by Frances Quinn earlier this year so I knew I was going to enjoy That Bonesetter Woman, just as much. Durie and her sister Lucinda arrive in London in the summer of 1757 from the town of Lewes to stay with their aunt, a successful business woman. Lucinda is pregnant and has been sent to London by her parents in order to have the baby in secret before returning to Lewes, keeping her reputation intact. Durie is annoyed by this. Before Lucinda found herself pregnant, she had just persuaded her father to teach her the art of bonesetting, something she had a natural talent for but being a male profession, her father was in two minds about letting her practise, instead wanting her younger brother to be his successor. Unlike Lucinda who is beautiful, delicate and has a way with words, Durie is often clumsy and not feminine at all but had a natural talent for the manipulation of bones and enjoyed the work. When Lucinda becomes a well known actress in London, after giving birth and leaving her baby at a foundling hospital, Durie still hasn't given up her dream of being a bonesetter but sees no future in Lewes as her father has taken on her brother as his apprentice. But one day she helps a young boy from a well connected family who has dislocated his arm falling out of a carriage and soon her services with the upper class become popular thanks to her aunt who manages her business. I loved reading about London in this period, especially the lions that Durie visits at the Tower of London. Quinn does a great job of capturing the essence and atmosphere of London in the min 1700s. A fantastic tale of two very different sisters, a story of rags to riches with a fair share of heartbreak along the way, Durie is just the most fantastic character. She can be blunt but she is kind and loving and has so much spirit and persistence that you can't fail to love her. I also really liked Aunt Ellen who is a smart independent business woman who has the girls best interest at heart, and encourages them to not to rely on men! I found I couldn't put That Bonesetter Woman down. It made me furious at times, especially with the way many of the male characters act but Durie is just such a brilliant character! Quinn has weaved her magic again with another brilliant story based loosely around real people. A triumph - I loved it!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Fran McBookface

    I’m in a rich vein of form at the moment with choosing brilliant books and happy to report it continued with Fran Quinns That Bonesetter Woman. The Smallest Man was always going to be a hard act to follow but if anything I enjoyed this book more. Endurance 'Durie' Proudfoot yearns to be a bonesetter like her father. Her training has barely started when she has to move to London with her sister who is pregnant and stay with an aunt they hardly know. Durie is a wonderful character - straightforwar I’m in a rich vein of form at the moment with choosing brilliant books and happy to report it continued with Fran Quinns That Bonesetter Woman. The Smallest Man was always going to be a hard act to follow but if anything I enjoyed this book more. Endurance 'Durie' Proudfoot yearns to be a bonesetter like her father. Her training has barely started when she has to move to London with her sister who is pregnant and stay with an aunt they hardly know. Durie is a wonderful character - straightforward, forthright and determined. The polar opposite of her sister, the pretty, sly and shallow Lucinda. Durie needs all her determination to succeed firstly to argue against her father so she can learn bonesetting in the first place and again in London when setting herself up and fighting against the predictable sexism & snobbery she faces. Found myself very engaged with the characters - at one point I was warning Durie out loud as she became entangled with Malachy O’Neill and I would quite happily have given Lucinda a good slap one more than one occasion! Aunt Ellen is a good character too - a successful business woman who has made her own way without a husband and quite happily too. Love to see this in novels, historical novels in particular. 18th century London was really well described from the Frost Fair to the Corn Exchange to the Tower menagerie. So were the attitudes of the time and Quinn is a wonderful observer of human nature. I really enjoyed this story and the writing is fantastic. Most of all I absolutely loved how Durie was her own person and didn’t bow to popular opinion of what a woman should be or how she should dress or present herself - we should all be more Durie! Huge thanks to Net Galley & Simon & Schuster for the chance to read an early copy

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