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Maven Books

Reviews about historical, literary, classic, and other fiction.  Miscellaneous book things.

Currently reading

Golden Hill: A Novel of Old New York
Francis Spufford
Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner?: A Story of Women and Economics
Katrine Marcal
Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference
Cordelia Fine
Tales from the Underworld
Hans Fallada

Fever by Mary Beth Keane

Fever - Mary Beth Keane

The book started off pretty well, and the idea of seeing Typhoid Mary's everyday life, beyond just being able to spread disease, sounded interesting.  Unfortunately, the book didn't really live up to my expectations, though I really tried to give it a chance.

I think the biggest problem was that it didn't feel like Mary's character was very well-developed, with certain details about her coming out well after she'd been established.  Not just the flashbacks, but details tacked on well after it seemed like the right time.  I also kept questioning how realistic some of it was, like making Mary seem like a modern chef with the ability to whip up all sorts of fancy dishes, despite having lived with very limited means.

I also felt like the author was trying very hard to make the reader like Mary, but instead I felt like I liked her less and less, along with all the other characters in the book.  Eventually, the whole thing felt like a soap opera, and not a very good one at that, so I just quit.  I can't believe I got as far as I did!