Book Spotlight: The Woman with the Cure

An inspiring and timely new novel hits shelves today: The Woman with the Cure by Lynn Cullen. Based on a real woman in our recent history, it follows Dorothy Horstmann, an epidemiologist, virologist, and pediatrician who led the way in developing the polio vaccine. In the 1940s and ’50s, science and medicine were still very much a man’s world. Dorothy Horstmann was one of the few women working in these fields at the time, and in a race to find a vaccine against polio, she would prove that women are just as capable—if not more so!—as men. Moreover, she would save millions of people against a horrific disease.

One of the reasons I love historical fiction is how it shines a light on fascinating people who changed the world. I had never heard of Dorothy Horstmann before, but I’m excited to learn about her fascinating career, how she progressed women’s roles in STEM, and how she saved millions of lives by finding the cure for polio. This story seems especially timely, given the recent COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 rush for a vaccine. These scientists are incredible and deserve so much praise, and I’m excited to learn about one of the most important, if lesser known, figures in our recent history.

Find out more about it below, and let me know if you’re planning to pick up The Woman with the Cure. If you’ve already read it, let me know how you liked it in the comments! I’m hoping to read it soon, so stay tuned for my review.

Official Summary

She gave up everything — and changed the world.

A riveting novel based on the true story of the woman who stopped a pandemic, from the bestselling author of Mrs. Poe.
In 1940s and ’50s America, polio is as dreaded as the atomic bomb. No one’s life is untouched by this disease that kills or paralyzes its victims, particularly children. Outbreaks of the virus across the country regularly put American cities in lockdown. Some of the world’s best minds are engaged in the race to find a vaccine. The man who succeeds will be a god.
But Dorothy Horstmann is not focused on beating her colleagues to the vaccine. She just wants the world to have a cure. Applying the same determination that lifted her from a humble background as the daughter of immigrants, to becoming a doctor–often the only woman in the room–she hunts down the monster where it lurks: in the blood.
This discovery of hers, and an error by a competitor, catapults her closest colleague to a lead in the race. When his chance to win comes on a worldwide scale, she is asked to sink or validate his vaccine—and to decide what is forgivable, and how much should be sacrificed, in pursuit of the cure.

Get the Book

You can buy The Woman with the Cure here – it’s available as a paperback, ebook, and audiobook.

The Woman with the Cure by Lynn Cullen
GenreHistorical Fiction
Number of Pages432
Original Publication DateFebruary 21, 2023

About the Author

Lynn Cullen - credit Parker Smith

Lynn Cullen grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and is the bestselling author of The Sisters of Summit AvenueTwain’s End, and Mrs. Poe, which was named an NPR 2013 Great Read and an Indie Next List selection. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, their dog, and two unscrupulous cats.

More Books by Lynn Cullen

Lynn Cullen - Reign of Madness
Lynn Cullen - The Sisters of Summit Avenue
Lynn Cullen - Mrs. Poe

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