August 17, 2017

Sawbones. Melissa Lenhardt

book cover
Published: Redhook Books
Date: March 2016
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 421
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
4 stars           Add to Goodreads
When Dr. Catherine Bennett is wrongfully accused of murder, she knows her fate likely lies with a noose unless she can disappear. Fleeing with a bounty on her head, she escapes with her maid to the uncharted territories of Colorado to build a new life with a new name. Although the story of the murderess in New York is common gossip, Catherine's false identity serves her well as she fills in as a temporary army doctor. But in a land unknown, so large and yet so small, a female doctor can only hide for so long.

My thoughts banner
Sawbones by Melissa Lendhardt is set in the 1870's, mostly in the frontier. It is the story of a woman doctor - Catherine Bennett. Catherine has been falsely accused of murder and has had to escape with the help of a friend. She travels from New York out into eventually the wilderness of Colorado.

This is not a story for the faint hearted. Oh - that's right, I am a bit faint hearted, but it was still for me. I just skipped quickly through the grim and horrible realities of attack on the wagon train, the deaths that ensued. And that was the first of the atrocities, more were to come and were just so horrible.

What kept me reading? Well it was the grittiness of Catherine. She ministered to soldiers at Antietam, mostly before this story opened. She was a doctor and healer to her core. She understood the need for cleanliness and its relation to infection. She ministered to the person. She was a good person and good doctor and she was treated so badly.  In spite of all that she faced she kept on, and when raw danger reared its ugly head she did what she had to do.

William Kindle is a officer at the army camp Catherine finds herself at. They've met before under different circumstances - at Antietam. Now some years later Catherine or Laura as she now is, heals Kindle again. They are attracted to one another, but ... this is not your normal pretty story with a rainbow at the end of the ride. Sigh! But... maybe something better, grit and determination and loyalty and trust. I wonder where they'll end up?  I see Blood Oath and Badlands are #2 and #3 in this trilogy so there is more to follow. 

This story has violence, brutality and rape. But it has people in it who stand for goodness and truth, people who are willing to help others and see them on their way. Yes, I'll read through to the end, although ... I might skip a bit here and there!  


  1. That is a lot of bad to take in

  2. I don't read a lot of historical fiction, but this one has definitely grabbed me. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I skim over sex scenes in romances the way you skip over violence in other books :)

    I saw this on NG and didn't request it because I have too many to deal with, but despite your warning about the violence, the setting and plot both sound pretty good to me. Glad you found some good qualities about it to enjoy.

  4. I skim over violence too! I just can't handle the vivid descriptions.

  5. I enjoy historical fiction and this one sounds like one I would like. I can manage the violence usually but skip over sex scenes and bad language when I need to. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  6. Whew! There is a lot going on here! I can see how you'd need to skim over some parts. I think I would have to as well. That said I like that there are truly good people in the book and it's not all grim and misery. I'll be looking for the next couple of books. I think I want to see how it ends up before I start on this one!


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