Robert J. Cole, the legendary doctor and hero of The Physician, left an enduring legacy. From the eleventh century on, the eldest son in each generation of the Cole family has borne the same first name and middle initial, and many of these men have been blessed with their ancestor's diagnostic skill and doctor's sixth sense. Now, in Shaman, the scene shifts to the nineteenth century... We meet Dr Robert Judson Cole, fleeing from his native Scotland for the New World to practise medicine in Boston and learn the healing powers of nature from the Sauk Indians.
And we follow the career of his son, Robert Jefferson Cole - Shaman to everyone who knows him - and his family as they are drawn, along with the rest of America, into the conflict between North and South. By turns tender and gritty, but always compelling, Shaman is a family saga of epic proportions: a vivid depiction of two Cole doctors and the women they love; of brutal murder and of medicine emerging with a rush from the unscientific dark centuries.
Winner of the James Fenmore Cooper Prize for Historical Fiction.