Slow, steady reading, a good recreation of the late 17th century in New York and the Dutch colony, but it lacks in the fictional what it has in the authentic background. Medical, semi-historical, semi-factual novel, based on the beginnings of medicine and actual incidents of medical record in New York (smallpox epidemics, pesthouses, Leeuwenho and his microscopes, the first post mortem, etc.) -- through a novel dealing with the life of Laurens Baxter. His apprenticeship to a doctor in New York, student life in Holland, where he formed a fast friendship with Rosalje, his return to New York and marriage with his old love. Then the smallpox epidemic -- and his wife's death -- and freedom to marry Rosalje who has come to America.