Wednesday, May 1, 2013
FEVER By Mary Beth Keane This interesting, sad, historical, true story of Mary Mallon, better known as Typhoid Mary! Mary, a beautiful feisty Irish immigrant has made her way to NYC in 1893. She is a fantastic cook and soon finds work in some of the most prominent homes of the time. A few years later Mary is approached by a health inspector/physician and accused of spreading typhoid fever. She is bewildered and distraught and violently responds to their request for testing. Mary is subdued and taken to North Brother Island, a small isolated island adjacent to Manhattan. There, very ill people arrive, never to leave. TB, Diptheria, Typhoid, etc. Mary has never been sick a day and appears healthy and strong. She becomes the first "healthy" carrier and the DOH does not know how to handle the situation. This novel follows Mary's fate and difficult journey through the system. Mary is smart, outspoken and refuses to give up on life. Excellent novel of a subject we do not hear much about. Accurate portrayal of NYC in the early 1900's and relationships within the colorful, loud, immigrant neighborhoods of the lower east side. Highly recommend.