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An orphan leaves Dark Ages London to study medicine in Persia in this “rich” and “vivid” historical novel from a New York Times–bestselling author (The New York Times). A child holds the hand of his dying mother and is terrified, aware something is taking her. Orphaned and given to an itinerant barber-surgeon, Rob Cole becomes a fast-talking swindler, peddling a worthless medicine. But as he matures, his strange gift—an acute sensitivity to impending death—never leaves him, and he yearns to become a healer. Arab madrassas are the only authentic medical schools, and he makes his perilous way to Persia. Christians are barred from Muslim schools, but claiming he is a Jew, he studies under the world’s most renowned physician, Avicenna. How the woman who is his great love struggles against her only rival—medicine—makes a riveting modern classic. The Physician is the first book in New York Times–bestselling author Noah Gordon’s Dr. Robert Cole trilogy, which continues with Shaman and concludes with Matters of Choice.
The New York Times–bestselling author’s historical saga of a family of healers—from Dark Ages London to Civil War America to modern-day Boston. In The Physician, an orphan in eleventh-century London, Robert Cole, becomes a fast-talking swindler. As he matures, his strange gift—an acute sensitivity to impending death—never leaves him, and he yearns to become a healer. Arab madrassas are the only authentic medical schools, and he makes his perilous way to Persia. Christians are barred from Muslim schools, but by claiming he is a Jew, he studies under the world’s most renowned physician, Avicenna. Cole’s journey and love for a woman who must struggle against her only rival—medicine—make The Physician a riveting modern classic. In Shaman, Dr. Robert Judson Cole, nineteenth-century descendent of the first Robert Cole, travels from his ravaged Scottish homeland, through the operating rooms of antebellum Boston, to the cabins of frontier Illinois. In the wilderness he befriends the starving remnants of the Sauk tribe, who have fled their reservation. In the process, he absorbs their culture and learns native remedies that enrich his classical medical education. He marries a remarkable settler woman he had saved from illness. The Cole family is drawn into the bloody vortex of the Civil War, and their determination to survive in the midst of wilderness and violence will stay with the reader long after the final page. In Matters of Choice, Roberta Jeanne d’Arc Cole is the latest first-born descendant of Dr. Robert Cole. Favored to be named associate chief of medicine at a Boston hospital, she is married to a surgeon and owns a trophy residence in Cambridge as well as a summer house. But everything melts away. Her gender and her work at an abortion clinic cost her the hospital appointment. Her marriage fails. Crushed, she goes to her farmhouse in western Massachusetts, thinking to sell it, and finds an unexpected life. How she continues to fight for every woman’s right to choose, while acknowledging her own ticking clock and maternal yearning, makes this prize-winning third story of the Cole trilogy relevant and unforgettable.
A woman physician confronts the moral issues of her time in the third novel in the New York Times–bestselling author’s historical medical trilogy. Roberta Jeanne d’Arc Cole is favored to be named associate chief of medicine at a Boston hospital. She is married to a surgeon. They own a trophy residence on historic Brattle Street in Cambridge and a summer house in the Berkshire Hills. Everything melts away. Her gender and her work at an abortion clinic cost her the hospital appointment. Her marriage fails. Crushed, she goes to the farmhouse in Western Massachusetts, thinking to sell it, and finds an unexpected life. How she continues to fight for every woman’s right to choose, while acknowledging her own ticking clock and maternal yearning, makes this prize-winning third story of the Cole trilogy as relevant as tomorrow.
From the author of The Physician and Shamen, this is the final book in the trilogy. Set in the present, R.J. Cole has inherited the family gift. After a miscarriage and the death of her boyfriend, she embarks on a career in medicine. Her life changes when she is faced with a terrible dilemma.
Includes audio versions, and annual title-author index.

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