The Vanishing Point

Written by Mary Sharratt

The vanishing point: where a ship disappears over the horizon. Trained as a physician by her father, Hannah Powers must practice in secret, hampered by the restrictions on women in 17th-century England. Hannah’s other passion is her older sister, May. May’s wanton behavior has ruined local marriage prospects, and she’s forced by her father to wed a distant cousin in Maryland. When their father dies, Hannah sails to far-off Maryland to join her. On a remote plantation, Hannah is heartbroken to learn that her sister has died in childbirth along with her baby. She soon finds herself falling in love with May’s reclusive husband, Gabriel. After hearing rumors of murder that involve Gabriel, she’s plagued by doubts over her sister’s death. Apparently, their marriage was miserable, and May did nothing to curb her loose ways. Caught up in this dangerous liaison, Hannah struggles to survive and is determined to uncover the truth about May’s fate.

Sharratt’s description of frontier life is so sharp, you can feel and taste it with the characters. The story alternates between each sister’s tale, and the two vibrant women are sympathetic and interesting. I was disappointed that Hannah’s skills as a surgeon are kept in the background, but that detracted little from my enjoyment of the book.