Review: The Five Step Plan by Elizabeth Welsford

Happy Friday!  Today I have an intriguing read by Elizabeth Welsford.  In this book, you will journey back to a time when women were diagnosed as hysterical as frequently as people are diagnosed with the common cold today.  This is an interesting look at medicine and societal views during the 1800’s.  For my full review of this unique book keep reading after the book blurb.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

25475231Book Blurb:

It’s 1829 and Dr. William Whitcraft has his hands full. When he’s not trying to dream up a cure for hysteria—the scourge of London’s polite society—he juggles a busy medical practice, a lovely but demanding fiancée, an over-enthusiastic patient seeking his affections, and the emergence of an ominous rivalry with a dashing fellow professional. Not to mention a secret dalliance of his own with a locally famous procuress. The Five Step Plan is a light-hearted farce, illuminating the hypocritical world of 19th century English society, where one must navigate the bounds of propriety, while mastering the art of clandestine intrigue.


In the Five Step Plan we follow Dr. Whitcraft as he navigates his practice full of women with hysteria.  While trying to find a new technique to relieve women of their hysterics he juggles his other patients, his newly acquired fiancée and a tryst with a local madam.  Dr. Whitcraft soon becomes very popular after learning a very effective five step maneuver that would have a profound effect on his female patients.  Unfortunately, his popularity comes with a few challenges and consequences.  He sees a very active rival going for his fiancée and a patient of his becomes obsessive.  In a world where scandal and intrigue is frowned upon can Dr. Whitcraft continue his success or will his world fall apart when secrets are revealed?

This was a very unique read.  It was very interesting being in the shoes of a doctor who treated “hysteria”  in women.  The idea of the pelvic massage and the paroxysm was intriguing and comical at times.  The collision of propriety and sexual needs and wants was the true backbone of this story.  The 1800’s way of thinking and ideals made medicine and sex taboo subjects that tended to paint women in rolls that in today’s society are completely backwards.  Dr. Whitcraft experiences all the aspects of women in this story through his practice and his private life.  Overall, this was an interesting and comical at times novel that will definitely keep you entertained.


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