Sunday, September 9, 2012

Quarantine by John Smolens

When a ship comes into the harbor in 1796 and is full of sailors who have a deathly fever, Dr. Wiggins puts the port under quarantine.

Pegasus Books and Net Galley allowed me to download an ebook of this story for review (thank you).  It will be published September 15th, so watch for it at your local bookstore.

This author specializes in writing fictional history accounts that capture your attention and increase your interest in events that happened long ago.  Mr. Smolens makes his characters "alive".  You can see their living conditions, the habits and passions of the time, and the valor and honor of some as well the greed and meanness of others.

Gile Wiggins has survived two trips to sea to fight wars.  Now he has pestilence to fight at home.  There are two other doctors in the area.  None of them agree on anything.  But an area is established for those sick, for it soon spreads to land. 

This is heartrending tale of families dying, those who try to profit from the disaster, and those who survive despite all the odds.  It's a sad truthful tale about characters you empathize with and mourn when they die.

The story is well written, flows well, and will stick with me for some time.  The family trauma that is central story is not over.  All you can do is hope that the survivors will succeed in their endeavors to return to a normal life.  But you'll think about them here and there.  This book makes their story real.

Happy reading.

1 comment:

Shan said...

As my dad was in the navy I find these kinds of stories enjoyable, not because of the suffering but because dad faced many things on his ships, and he was only 17 and many years later. I have a hard time imagining signing on for this life but then what choices did they really have.