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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  448 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Set in London, New York, and San Francisco from the late nineteenth century through the first decades of the twentieth, Domina is the inspiring saga of one woman's personal and professional triumph against the prejudices of her time.

Beautiful and courageous, Samantha Hargrave dares to dream that she will become one of the first female doctors-and surgeons-in America. Born...more
Paperback, 472 pages
Published July 1st 2007 by Authors Choice Press (first published January 1st 1983)
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Jan 31, 2012 Zenei rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Highly Recommend
Recommended to Zenei by: 5 stars
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Born in London's slums, Samantha Hargrave is determined to become a physician. What stands in her way? The entire medical establishment. Samantha lives in Victorian London, and women are not permitted to enter medical schools.

First apprenticing herself to a pharmacist and then to two different physicians, Samantha eventually finds her way into a medical school and receives her certification. She moves from London to New York, and from there to San Francisco -- where she establishes a hospital fo...more
The topic of this novel fascinated me. It is about a woman determined to become a doctor during the last half of the 1800s. It was incredible the barriers she had to break through and the prejudice she had to face to reach for her goal! It really made me appreciate the freedom I have as a woman today. I didn't have any idea how ignorant people used to be about the workings of the human body, particularly the female body, and the weird things they used to do and think to cure ailments, etc. There...more
Deborah Sastroredjo
I read this book to death when I was little. I loved the portayal of a strong woman, reaching her goals and achieving her dreams! Now that I found it again, I will see if I still love it as much.
I read it in dutch though and the cover was much nicer hahaha
Beatriz Rosales
Los inicios de la Medicina, desde la vida de una de las primeras Médicas. Es el relato de las dificultades y obstáculos que debe vencer Samantha Hargrave en los fines del siglo XIX para estudiar y despues ejercer la medicina, un relato que mezcla la realidad con la ficción; pero que no está nada alejado de la realidad, describe los inicios de la asepcia y el uso de los antibióticos, los graves errores en los tratamientos por utilizar "productos milagrosos" y la descripción de tragedias humanas a...more
Yes, this is the story of one woman's struggle against ignorance and bigotry in our country. However, it is set against American History in the period of "demon rum", prohibiton of women professionals (imagine a female doctor!)and women wanting the right to vote...not so long ago in actual years, dear readers. We have come so far and yet there is so much work still to do done.

The struggle that our fictional heroine faces in working to eliminate "patent medicine" those liquid "medications" for wo...more
Samantha Hargrave, born in the slums of Victorian London, dares to dream of becoming one of the first women doctors -- and surgeons -- in America. Set in London, New York and San Francisco from the late nineteenth century into the early days of the twentieth, Domina tells the story of a courageous woman with a special gift for healing, who struggles to enter the all-male profession of medicine. When her ambition meets with hostile rejection in England, Samantha sails to America, where she meets...more
Beverly Rodowski
A fascinating read. I learned of the frustrating dilemma society had in the 1800s. It was considered immoral for a women to learn about human's bodies (thus female doctors were shunned and discouraged), yet modesty kept many women from seeking proper medical help as they would not allow a male doctor to see their bodies. I did find Dr. Hargrave's gain in status (going from having to trick her way into medical school to owning a prosperous, forward-thinking hospital in less than a lifetime) a bit...more
Jill Anderson
Although this is an old book, and out of print (I think), I bought a copy years ago and have reread it three times! I loved the history of the medical industry, reading about life at the turn of the century, and what women had to do to fight for their rights. Loved this book!
reread... i really loved this story. i remember the first time the book was gave to me by my granny. it was the best story i have ever read. that was like... ten maybe twelve years ago. lol. such a long time.
J'ai lu ce livre il y a très longtemps, quand mes rêves étaient encore possibles. Quel bel hommage à ces femmes qui se sont battues pour devenir médecin ! Nous leur devons tant aujourd'hui. Barbara Wood est catégorisée comme auteure "easy reading" (terme un peu péjoratif). Mais ce n'est pas une Marc Lévy, elle a écrit un roman qui a nécessité des heures de recherche historique ; c'est un récit vraisembable avec une belle dose de romantisque (d'après mes souvenirs) sans jamais verser dans le mièv...more
Although both the Norwegian title and cover makes this look like an ordinary romance it really is much more focused on portraying what life would have been like for a female doctor in the 1870s onwards. The combination of fiction and history, as well as the topic, makes this a very interesting book.
I liked this book, thinking of Victorian era and how things have changed since then. I do wonder though if the time line was compressed for the sake of the story. I find it hard to belive that all this happpend in the approximate time span of 16 years. From the discovery of keeping things germ free, abdominal surgery, etc. There was romance in this book but it centered more on Samantha and her great desire to become a doctor. One woman who when she put her mind to something she accomplished it,...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beqii Orantes
Es una historia muy buena, te hace pensar en que somos afortunados de vivir en esta época, y te hace reflexionar sobre lo mal que lo pudieron pasar las mujeres en un tiempo. Ame su personaje principal y de algún modo mientras leía siempre supuse que Mark iba a regresar.
Sujuvaa luettavaa, kiehtova tarina lääkäriksi palavasta tytöstä 1800-luvun miehisessä maailmassa. Vain päähenkilön pyhimysmäisyys tökki, samoin kuin kirjoittajan tapa jättää asioita roikkumaan (esimerkiksi mainittakoon, että odotin loppuun asti Freddyn ilmestyvän kuvioihin). Mutta onnellista loppua kohti mentiin leppoisasti, lääketieteellisillä yksityiskohdilla ei mässäilty liikaa ja vaikka juonenkäänteet suosivat tri Hargravea vähän liikaa, piirsi kirja kuitenkin tarkan ja kiehtovan kuvan erila...more
Born in London, Samantha Hargrave overcomes her motherless plight, attending a young ladies school and eventually making her way to New York, determined to become a doctor in an age where Women were not admitted to medical school. Opening a hospital for women, she discovers the sale of opium,cocaine and alcohol laced medicines lauded as cure alls prevents women from going to doctors until it is too late to help them. On the way she finds love but her third final love eludes her but ---
I have read and reread this book so many times! Great historical fiction, great character development. Wonderful mix of the old country, immigration, life in NYC, medicine, politics... and be sure to read the sequel too.
We must never give up on our dreams no matter how hopeless the situation may be. We should believe that our dreams are powerful. Some people come and then go to teach us the greatest thing in life: TO LOVE. But then again, we only got ourselves the power to decide what's best and what's not. This is a great book. I recommend you read this.
Nana Kitteh
I like the characters, storyline and the Victorian setting. This is the story of a strong women who makes her own way as a lady and a doctor. She started out from mean beginnings and grows into a woman who sees what is needed and suceeds through multiple obstacles. This is one of my favorite books to re-read from time to time.
Super good story. About a girl in the early 1900's goes from street eurchant to promonate doctor. People didn't like female doctors back then so it goes through all her struggles and her amazing persistance, despite the hardships, and it is a love story with more twists and shocks then any I have EVER read!!!!!!!
Woman fights establishment to become a woman doctor and make a difference in effectiveness of medical treatment. (late 1800's). However, it was unrealistic to assign so many medical breakthroughs to this one women which spoiled the story for me. An interesting look at the horrific state of medicine in those times.
Heather the Hillbilly Banjo Queen
This book is good right up until the end. The end felt like she had a deadline or was tired of writing and didn't know how to wrap things up so she just ended it quickly without much thought. Quite a lame end for a book with so much potential. But don't get me wrong, I still think it is worth the read.
I recently found this book again after not having read it since the late 80s. What a fabulous re-introduction Wood's novel is to me. Sometimes you pick up a book you loved as a much younger person and you wonder what you ever saw in it. That's not the case with Domina...still an amazing read!
Oct 23, 2007 Christamatina rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
I LOVE this book. It was one of the first 'romance' books my Mom let me read and it remains one of my all time favorite books to this day. I love that it is about a strong woman who knows what she wants and gets it and keeps most of her principles in place while she does it. lol
This book was good, but I guessed the ending. What I enjoyed most was the historical perspective of how women were perceived by society, the hardships they endured. It was also interesting to see how medicine has evolved during that age.
This is the story of Samatha Hargrave becoming a woman doctor in the 1850s. It is set in London, New York and San Francisco. The man she loves in New York and is about to marry is lost at sea. I thought this was a great book.
This is a great story of what it must have been like to be one of the first women to go to medical school. No one said it would be easy. This is one of her earlier works and no less intriguing if you enjoy her style.
Kristi Barr
One of my top 10 reads of all time (and also enjoyed by everyone I have lent it to!). Definitely worth picking up (though hard to find now - try your local used bookstore). Interesting, romantic and believable.
Elsa Lechuga
I liked it, It keeps you interested but I expected more at the end
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What's The Name o...: Historical Fiction with female doctor [s] 4 87 Mar 09, 2014 11:53PM  
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Barbara Wood was born on 30 January 1947 in Warrington, Lancashire, England, UK. Together with her parents and older brother, she immigrated to the United States. She grew up in Southern California and attended Los Angeles Schools. After High School, Barbara attended the University of California at Santa Barbara but left to train as a surgical technician. During this time, Barbara held numerous jo...more
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