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Nora Beady, the only female student at a prestigious medical school in Bologna, is a rarity. In the 19th century, women are expected to remain at home, so her ambitions to become a surgeon offend the men around her. Everything changes when she allies herself with Magdalena Morenco, the sole female doctor on staff. The two women develop new techniques to improve the Cesarean section. Facing resistance on all sides, Nora is shaken when she meets a patient who will die without the surgery. If the procedure is successful, her work could change the world. But a failure could cost precious lives, Nora's career, and the role women will be allowed to play in medicine.