Keane offers a sympathetic portrayal of Mary Mallon, better known as Typhoid Mary. The story portrays early 20th Century New York and several important historical events seen through Mary's eyes.
Mary's long-term relationship was probably total fiction, but it helped to provide a narrative that allowed the author to string together the events in Mary's life. I think I would have liked this fictional Mary better than the historical Mary.
Urban public librarian. Audiobook lover!
I just finished listening to Fever by Mary Beth Keane, narrated by Candace Thaxton.
Fever is a fictional account of the life of Mary Mallon (1869-1938) better known as Typhoid Mary. It's the the 27th book I've read (or listened to) in 2013 and so far my favorite.
Keane brings Mary Mallon to life as a complex and even likeable character although as a cook and an asymptomatic carrier of typhoid fever Mary infects at least fifty people, at least three of whom die. After outbreaks are traced back to her, Mary is quarantined against her will on an island clinic for over two years and released only when she agrees never again to work as a cook.
Mary is portrayed as realistically complicated in her fierce denial, good intentions, failures, doubts, financial struggles, and her role as enabler to her longtime live-in boyfriend.
Keane is a master of description. I have a hunch that a couple of my book club friends might say there is too much description, but I would disagree. It is this element that transported me to early 20th century New York City where I felt a baby leave this world as I held it in my arms, bought a blue hat, hid from the authorities on a snow cold day, loved and hated and loved a man who was addicted to alcohol and then drugs, rationalized a return to my first-love - cooking, and finally accept my typhoid carrier status, my heart breaking under the weight of it.
This book will haunt me for days.
The many themes of Fever make it an ideal pick for a book club: the power of denial, forcible quarantine, co-dependency, this era of New York City.
Candace Thaxton's narration is top-rate. As far as audiobooks go, perhaps my all-time favorite.
Who knew! Not me. I thought this was a great story, outlining the life of a misunderstood woman in American history. Was it her fault? Was it the doctors? Or the rampant filth that lined the streets of New York? A fascinating look at medical practice in early stages of understanding immunity and the way disease is transmitted. Equally fascinating is the story of Mary as told by Keane. Top rate narration, too!
A glimpse into the past. Not just her life, but the way people lived at the beginning of the 20th century. The story was very interesting, and was very well done. People really didn't expect much out of life back then. When you really look back into history realistically, it wasn't as romantic and exciting as we are lead to believe. Great Book!
Worth the listen!
It kept me listening till the end. I didnt want it to end.
Mary was my favorite. did the Irish accent well.
The life and times of Typhoid Mary.
Definitely will recommend it !
I think this is my favorite audiobook I've every listened to. I normally have a hard time listening to audiobooks. I get distracted and have to go back and re-listen to parts of the book, or I can only listen to about 30 minutes at a time before I'm ready to do something else. Not this book. This one had me captivated and looking for opportunities to sneak in extra listening time during my day.
The Chaperone because it's a novel based on true events. And Sin in the Second City because it made me really feel for (and sometimes take the side of) the person who was probably doing the wrong thing.
Candace Thaxton's narration gave an added layer to the story. Her voices and accents for each character, especially Mary, made it easy to imagine that I was in the story.
What I was expecting was to be informed and perhaps educated a little about "Typhoid Mary". What I got was a totally satisfying and thoroughly enjoyable work of historical fiction.
As a wanna-be writer, I am totally jealous of Keane's work. I would love to spend a few hours with her to compare notes and hear first-hand how she came to write such a wonderful novel. As a person who spends about three hours of research for every hour of writing, I totally appreciate what she has accomplished.
I truly enjoyed this novel about Mary Mallon, better known as Typhoid Mary. I didn't know much about Mary before reading this book and I found it fascinating on many levels - Mary's life in NYC in the late 1800s and early 1900s, her inability to understand that she was a healthy "carrier" of a potentially deadly illness and the way the medical community dealt with outbreaks of illness in a time before vaccines and antibiotics. All of it fascinating. The narrator was easy to listen to and did a decent job with Mary's brogue. An enjoyable read.
I really enjoyed this book, I am not sure how historically accurate it is but I really don't care. It was a great look into the possible perspective into the thought process that Mary may have had. I actually like the storyline of Alfred and Mary, I like that it was about Mary's life not just typhoid fever.
The story shows a historical perspective on how women were treated, how immigrants were treated and also gives perspective into the immigrants in the lower east side how they lived and the struggles they faced daily.
It was interesting to think about how disease can be passed unwittingly from a carrier, how the government dealt with it then vs. how they deal with it now.
It also has a storyline highlighting addiction and how it not only effects the addict but the people who care about the addict.
All in all a very good and interesting read. I highly recommend it.
I enjoyed every bit of this book! The narrator does a fabulous job with Mary's accent and defining all the characters! I really recommend this book!