A family physician, Patricia Kullberg, MD, MPH, devoted her career to serving persons living with physical, mental and addiction disorders at a clinic for the homeless. She has written many award-winning articles about health and medicine, but Girl in the River is her first novel. Kullberg and her husband live in Portland, Oregon, where she facilitates writing workshops for marginalized women and tends a large garden.
On the eve of World War II, Portland, Oregon, battles corruption as the city falls into the hands of gangsters. Newly orphaned, Mae Rose wanders the rain-stained streets alone, on the lam from a knife-wielding pimp and mustering her own worst impulses to survive. As Mae rises to power in Portland’s gritty sex industry, she’s pursued by a district attorney who seeks to snare her for more personal reasons. In the city’s smoky nightspots, the glamorous Dr. Ruth Barnett turns heads, but by day she operates a wildly successful abortion service. At war’s end, both Mae and Ruth are caught in the crosshairs of Portland’s anti-vice crusade. The women’s survival, as well as any chance at lasting love, depends on their allegiance to each other and their abilities to outsmart the cops and politicians who no longer protect them.