The Medicine Woman of Galveston (Paperback)

The Medicine Woman of Galveston By Amanda Skenandore Cover Image
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In a uniquely vivid story of women in medicine, found family, and conquering fear for readers of Kristin Hannah, Ellen Marie Wiseman, and Audrey Blake, an impoverished former doctor and her disabled son join a traveling medicine show and its family of strangers on a collision course with the deadliest natural disaster in American history – the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. From the acclaimed author of The Nurse's Secret and The Second Life of Mirielle West.

"Perfect on so many levels that I don't even know where to begin." —Addison Armstrong, Author of The War Librarian

Once a trailblazer in the field of medicine, Dr. Tucia Hatherley hasn’t touched a scalpel or stethoscope since she made a fatal mistake in the operating theater. Instead, she works in a corset factory, striving to earn enough to support her disabled son. When even that livelihood is threatened, Tucia is left with one option—to join a wily, charismatic showman named Huey and become part of his traveling medicine show.

Her medical license lends the show a pretense of credibility, but the cures and tonics Tucia is forced to peddle are little more than purgatives and bathwater. Loathing the duplicity, even as she finds uneasy kinship with the other misfit performers, Tucia vows to leave as soon as her debts are paid and start a new life with her son—if Huey will ever let her go.

When the show reaches Galveston, Texas, Tucia tries to break free from Huey, only to be pulled even deeper into his schemes. But there is a far greater reckoning ahead, as a September storm becomes a devastating hurricane that will decimate the Gulf Coast—and challenge Tucia to recover her belief in medicine, in the goodness of others—and in herself.

About the Author

Amanda Skenandore is an award-winning author of historical fiction and a registered nurse. Her debut novel, Between Earth and Sky was a Publishers Marketplace Buzz Books selection and winner of the American Library Association’s RUSA Reading List award for Best Historical Fiction of the year. Her third novel, The Second Life of Mirielle West, was the 2023 Silicon Valley Reads selection, an Apple Best Books of the Month and a Hoopla Book Club Pick. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and can be found online at

Praise For…

Praise for Amanda Skenandore

“The Medicine Woman of Galveston is perfect on so many levels that I don’t even know where to begin. The plot itself is strong and powerful, touching on relevant themes such as trauma, identity, and acceptance, and the historical context of traveling medicine shows is fascinating and rich. The characters - even the side characters, many of whom get their own compulsively readable chapters - are full-fledged, strong, and just flawed enough to be human. To no one’s surprise, Skenandore has done it again!” —Addison Armstong, author of The War Librarian

“A wonderful story about seizing second chances—and who doesn’t love those? Amanda Skenandore has a keen eye for developing characters who transform while keeping the endearing, relatable qualities that made us root for them in the first place. A charming cast of misfits and a devastating hurricane were just the ingredients I needed to completely lose myself in this book.” Elise Cooper, author of Angels of the Pacific on The Medicine Woman of Galveston

“Amanda Skenandore dazzles us with a spellbinding story, a vividly drawn setting, and characters that leap off the pages. I was fascinated from start to finish and could not put this book down. This is historical fiction at its finest!” —Sara Ackerman, USA Today bestselling author of The Codebreaker’s Secret on The Nurse’s Secret

“In this superior historical from Skenandore, the wife of a 1920s Hollywood actor is transformed by the news of a medical diagnosis… Skenandore makes plausible Mirielle’s metamorphosis from Hollywood socialite to active, caring member of the Carville community. The author’s diligent research, as well as her empathetic depiction of those subjected to forced medical isolation, make this a winner.” Publishers Weekly on The Second Life of Mirielle West
“Scrupulous in her research and practically clairvoyant in her choice of urgent subjects — from the Indigenous boarding schools of her first novel to the disease and quarantine of The Second Life of Mirielle West — historical novelist Amanda Skenandore has quietly become one of the valley’s finest authors.” The Las Vegas Review Journal
“Despite being a fictional work, in her book The Second Life of Mirielle West Amanda Skenandore has used her medical background as a registered nurse—and her storytelling skills as a writer—to describe the sorrows experienced by patients with leprosy who were quarantined at the Carville Leper Home.” —The Lancet

"Effie's community of freedmen and Creoles in Reconstruction New Orleans is unforgettable. Skenandore's second novel is recommended for readers who enjoy medical historical fiction reminiscent of Diane McKinney-Whetstone's Lazaretto, and historical fiction with interpersonal drama." Library Journal on The Undertaker's Assistant

"Our immersion in that world--from the particulars of baking marble cake to the grisly minutiae of embalming corpses to the messy and violent politics of the Reconstruction South--is so complete that the reader never doubts it once existed. That said, one of this novel's many virtues is how it subtly conveys how many black citizens in the post-Civil War era took it upon themselves to improve their own lives." Historical Novels Review on The Undertaker's Assistant

"Readers who like complex characters amid a roiling historical setting will be fascinated by Effie's quest...Teen readers who are not turned off by the embalming details will empathize with a young woman's search for identity and love." Booklist on The Undertaker's Assistant

“Did you know there was a leper colony in the US? I didn't!  This fascinating tale of a movie star's wife forced into a leper colony in the 1920's was eye-opening and shockingly relevant. Mirielle's journey with this incredibly stigmatized disease is heart wrenching, and poignant. This would make an excellent book club pick as you will want to discuss this one!” —Carrie Deming, The Dog Eared Book (Palmyra, NY) on The Second Life of Mirielle West

"Intensely emotional...Skenandore's deeply introspective and moving novel will appeal to readers of American history, particularly those interested in the dynamics behind the misguided efforts of white people to better the lives Native American by forcing them to adopt white cultural mores." Publishers Weekly on Between Earth and Sky

"By describing its costs in human terms, the author shapes tension between whites and Native Americans into a touching story. The title of Skenandore's debut could refer to reality and dreams, or to love and betrayal; all are present in this highly original novel." Booklist on Between Earth and Sky

"A heartbreaking story about the destructive legacy of the forced assimilation of Native American children. Historical fiction readers and book discussion groups will find much to ponder here." Library Journal on Between Earth and Sky

"Gripping and beautifully written, Between Earth and Sky tugs at the heart with its dynamic heroine and unique cast of characters. Though this novel brings alive two historical American eras and settings, the story is achingly modern, universal and important." —Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of The It Girls on Between Earth and Sky

Product Details
ISBN: 9781496741684
ISBN-10: 1496741684
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: May 21st, 2024
Pages: 384
Language: English