from author’s website

Meet a “New Woman” of the 20th century: educated, career-minded, independent Eliza Pearson Edwards. In 1897 Philadelphia, after witnessing her aunt’s suicide, Eliza rejects her mother’s wishes for a society debut, and at a time when five percent of doctors are female, she enters a woman’s medical college. With the support of a circle of women and driven by a determination to conquer curriculum demands, battle sexism, and overcome doubts, Eliza charts her new life path. Combining science and sympathy, she triumphs to heal others and herself.

Organic Chemistry may slay her, if the strain of endless study, odoriferous labs, and gruesome surgeries don’t claim her first. As a young intern, she summons a forthright confidence asserting her abilities to those mistrustful of a woman doctor. Through her work with poverty-stricken patients, she defines her version of suffrage work to champion women’s rights for and beyond the right to vote. Love is found, love is lost. During a visit to the fairy-tale-like city of Newport, a new relationship may fulfill her desires. When global events devolve into chaos with the 1918 influenza pandemic and a world war, Eliza renews her vow to help and heal.

Available for purchase here.


“People looking for a touching story about a woman seeking a professional life in a time when that was not widely accepted will be delighted by Daly’s novel.” -Manhattan Book Review

“Bursting with historical detail on every page.” -Juliette Fay, USA Today bestselling author of The Tumbling Turner Sisters and the recent highly acclaimed, Catch Us When We Fall

“An often riveting fictional testament of a doctor’s life at the turn of the 20th century.” Kirkus Reviews

“Eliza’s discovery of “the why” echoes a story that we all carry in our hearts. Great historical fiction is timeless.” -Eliza Lo Chin, MD, MPH, Executive Director, American Medical Women’s Association and editor, This Side of Doctoring: Reflections from Women in Medicine

“Flawlessly researched with characters that come alive on the page, debut author Janis Robinson Daly writes with a fresh voice that brings her readers instantly into a story that, in many ways, is shockingly similar to today’s world.” -Barbara Conrey, USA Today bestselling author of Nowhere Near Goodbye

“Eliza sees the best and worst of humanity, but never falters from her mission to limit suffering and save lives. It’s a story of the ties of family, and friends and colleagues who become family. It’s about love and loss, and the eternal struggle to live one’s best life. Fans of literary medical historical fiction such as Abraham Verghese’s Cutting For Stone or The Girl In His Shadow by Audrey Blake will enjoy the rich period detail and emotional impact of The Unlocked Path.” -Tracey Enerson Wood, author of International Best Seller The Engineer’s Wife

“In The Unlocked Path, Janis Robinson Daly movingly depicts the monumental struggles early women physicians faced, and the much-needed niche they filled. Meticulously researching a fascinating era in our history and creating an engaging narrator to guide us through it, Janis Robinson Daly has delivered a winner.” Sally Cabot Gunning, author of The Widow’s War and Painting the Light

“Eliza Edwards chooses an unconventional path. Choosing to ignore high society and commit to medical school, she must possess an unwavering belief in herself. She decides that to succeed, she must change the system. Eliza will win you over with her quiet strength and kind heart.” -Kerry Chaput, author of Daughter of the King


Janis Robinson Daly is available to visit with book clubs via