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The Lobotomist's Wife: A Novel by [Samantha Greene Woodruff]

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The Lobotomist's Wife: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 17,660 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“Dramatic and compelling…” —Historical Novel Society

“A fascinating and quick read. The author, Samantha Greene Woodruff, modified just the right elements to create an engaging storyline while retaining the critical historical information.” Relevant Reading

“Samantha’s fictionalized novel sheds light on the real-life atrocities endured by so many during a time when maladies of the mind were so misunderstood. The focus placed on mental illness in The Lobotomist’s Wife certainly make it a timely read due to the attention placed on this topic since the beginning of the pandemic. This historically-inspired story allows readers to see the progress made in the treatment of mental illness through the years.” Hope Magazine

“A compassionate historical fiction.” The Voice Magazine

“Based on extraordinary real-life events, The Lobotomist’s Wife is a riveting and impressive debut that had me in its grasp from the very first page. Samantha Greene Woodruff has crafted a suspenseful tale of good intentions gone awry that features an indomitable heroine who finds her strength and voice in the midst of harrowing circumstances. I simply could not put it down.” —Paulette Kennedy, author of Parting the Veil

“In her stunning debut, Samantha Greene Woodruff explores the fascinating world of midcentury mental health treatments with deft attention to rich historical detail and memorable characters who carry the story with heart and heft. Woodruff has skillfully crafted a novel with an artfully structured second story line, a propulsive ending, and an underlying theme so relevant to the struggles of the modern day. I absolutely loved this novel and can’t wait to see what she does next!” —Susie Orman Schnall, author of We Came Here to Shine

“A dazzling, page-turning debut, The Lobotomist’s Wife is the shocking tale of a pioneering lobotomist and his devoted ambitious wife. Not only did I stay up reading past midnight to find out what happened in this fascinating portrait of a marriage and mental hospital, the pitch-perfect ending thrilled me to the core.” —Brooke Lea Foster, author of Summer Darlings

“Woodruff easily pulls the reader into this story of a gifted man with the best of intentions slowly spinning out of control, and the woman who loves him gradually realizing that he must be stopped. Carefully researched and detailed, The Lobotomist’s Wife emerges as a strong cautionary tale about the madness of power gone unchecked. A skillful debut!” —Shana Abé, New York Times bestselling author of The Second Mrs. Astor

The Lobotomist’s Wife is a stunning exploration of blind ambition gone awry and the sacrifices one extraordinary woman must make in order to protect innocent people from harm. Woodruff impresses both with her prose and her mastery of this challenging subject matter. Readers are sure to be drawn to this compelling and relatable debut.” —Lynda Loigman author of Two Family House and The Wartime Sisters

From the Publisher

A supposed miracle cure goes completely awry in the hands of a megalomaniac. It sounds far-fetched, but this novel is inspired by the real-life story of the doctor who introduced the lobotomy to the United States. Heralded as a cure for depression, headaches, and even the “baby blues,” lobotomy eventually fell out of favor, and with good reason. Many patients suffered extreme trauma post-procedure; some became catatonic, others violent. And many died. But the same doctor who championed this gruesome treatment refused to stop, continuing to perform lobotomies, often alone in his own office, using what he referred to as the “ice pick” method.

When author Samantha Greene Woodruff came across this story, she was fascinated. What if someone had tried to stop him? From there she invented Ruth Apter, a brilliant woman who falls for the charismatic Dr. Robert Apter. He’s her equal in intellect and in his devotion to revolutionizing psychiatric treatment. But as the medical community abandons lobotomies, Dr. Apter becomes increasingly driven and deluded. When Ruth sees his passion turn to deadly obsession, she knows she’s the only one who can stop him. Both a propulsive page-turner and a chilling tale, this is a riveting story of a woman who risks everything to do what is right.

—Jodi Warshaw, Editor

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B096RXSMX8
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Lake Union (February 1, 2022)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ February 1, 2022
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 3876 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 298 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 17,660 ratings

About the author

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Samantha Greene Woodruff has a BA in history from Wesleyan University and an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business. She spent most of her career telling stories to executives at MTV Networks as the senior vice president of strategy and business development and, subsequently, audience research for the Nickelodeon Kids & Family Group. After leaving corporate life, she pursued her varied passions, teaching yoga, cooking, and taking classes at the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. It was here that she combined her multifaceted background with her wild imagination and passion for history, reading, and writing. The Lobotomist’s Wife is her first historical fiction novel, and she is already at work on her next book. Sam lives in southern Connecticut with her husband, two children, and two dogs.

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
17,660 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 18, 2022
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on February 3, 2022
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 20, 2022
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Top reviews from other countries

M. Dowden
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on January 1, 2022
27 people found this helpful
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not Recommended- a poor rendition of an intriguing subject
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on January 5, 2022
5 people found this helpful
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Sarah Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating topic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on January 2, 2022
4 people found this helpful
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Lit Chick
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a deep delve into lobotomies
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on January 8, 2022
3 people found this helpful
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2.0 out of 5 stars Something lacking/missing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on January 6, 2022
2 people found this helpful
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