The book recognizes the achievements by a nineteenth-century community of women religious, the Grey Nuns of Lewiston, Maine. The founding of their hospital was significant in its time as the first hospital in that factory city; and is significant today if one desires a more accurate and inclusive history of women and healthcare in America. The fact that this community lived in a hostile, Protestant-dominated, industrial environment while submerged in a French-Canadian Catholic world of ethnicity, tradition and paternalism makes their accomplishments more compelling.
Susan Hudson received her Ph.D from Catholic University of America, specializing in issues of gender and ethnicity in American history. She attended the University of Portland, the University of California Berkeley, and Bowdonin College. She has presented her research at numerous academic and humanities conferences and has published in Maine History.