Fever: A Novel – Mary Beth Keane

feverHer grandmother taught her how to make griddle cakes and brown bread, to make salmon with butter and cream, to tuck turnips and potatoes around the meat.  And it was her grandmother who bought her a one way trip to America.  Mary Mallon found new foods to cook in America, but the rules stayed the same.  Mary loved to cook and Mary was a very good cook.  She cooked for upper class families in New York City until the day her world crumbled around her.  The day she was taken into custody and accused of spreading typhoid fever to those who ate her wonderful food.  She became known as Typhoid Mary.

I enjoyed this novel based on the life of Mary Mallon.  It captures the atmosphere of servant class New York in the early years of the twentieth century.   Tenements on filthy streets were crowded with immigrants hoping for a better life. And it paints a picture of a feisty Irish woman who was just trying to earn a living doing what she loved, not a monster spreading death and disease.

eGalley Review    Publication date 3.12.13

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