Almost two hundred years ago, in 1822 surgeons in Edinburgh were begining to perform operations to remove major tumours from their patients. But there were a couple of things that the surgeons did not know about yet. The first thing was anaesthetic. All the operations were performed on patients fully awake and conscious. The second thing was in order to prevent infection operations should be perfomed in only sterile atmoshperes.Dr Robert Knox, the surgeon, operates on Robbie's mother, in these conditions, at the beginning of this story, but she dies five days later from an infection. Robbie and his family are broken. And so Robbie's father ends up abandoning his two children Robbie and Essie.Fourteen year old Robbie and his little sister, Essie, survive the only few ways that they know how they can. It is a desperate time which everything is made worse for Robbie to forgive the surgeon and stop blaming him for killing his mother, his family, and his life.This book is a good book, its not a favorite but it,s definitley interesting.Its filled with the sadness of people in poverty during the nineteenth century in the town of Edinburgh.