Fever by Mary Beth Keane audiobook

Fever: A Novel

By Mary Beth Keane
Read by Candace Thaxton

Simon & Schuster Audio
9.90 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
  • $23.95
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    ISBN: 9781442360884

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From the bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes, a novel about the woman known as “Typhoid Mary,” who becomes, “in Keane’s assured hands…a sympathetic, complex, and even inspiring character” (O, The Oprah Magazine). Mary Beth Keane has written a spectacularly bold and intriguing novel about the woman known as “Typhoid Mary,” the first person in America identified as a healthy carrier of Typhoid Fever. On the eve of the twentieth century, Mary Mallon emigrated from Ireland at age fifteen to make her way in New York City. Brave, headstrong, and dreaming of being a cook, she fought to climb up from the lowest rung of the domestic-service ladder. Canny and enterprising, she worked her way to the kitchen, and discovered in herself the true talent of a chef. Sought after by New York aristocracy, and with an independence rare for a woman of the time, she seemed to have achieved the life she’d aimed for when she arrived in Castle Garden. Then one determined “medical engineer” noticed that she left a trail of disease wherever she cooked, and identified her as an “asymptomatic carrier” of Typhoid Fever. With this seemingly preposterous theory, he made Mallon a hunted woman. The Department of Health sent Mallon to North Brother Island, where she was kept in isolation from 1907 to 1910, then released under the condition that she never work as a cook again. Yet for Mary—proud of her former status and passionate about cooking—the alternatives were abhorrent. She defied the edict. Bringing early-twentieth-century New York alive—the neighborhoods, the bars, the park carved out of upper Manhattan, the boat traffic, the mansions and sweatshops and emerging skyscrapers—Fever is an ambitious retelling of a forgotten life. In the imagination of Mary Beth Keane, Mary Mallon becomes a fiercely compelling, dramatic, vexing, sympathetic, uncompromising, and unforgettable heroine.

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Summary

Summary

A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2013 in Fiction

Selected for the March 2013 Indie Next List

From the bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes, a novel about the woman known as “Typhoid Mary,” who becomes, “in Keane’s assured hands…a sympathetic, complex, and even inspiring character” (O, The Oprah Magazine).

Mary Beth Keane has written a spectacularly bold and intriguing novel about the woman known as “Typhoid Mary,” the first person in America identified as a healthy carrier of Typhoid Fever.

On the eve of the twentieth century, Mary Mallon emigrated from Ireland at age fifteen to make her way in New York City. Brave, headstrong, and dreaming of being a cook, she fought to climb up from the lowest rung of the domestic-service ladder. Canny and enterprising, she worked her way to the kitchen, and discovered in herself the true talent of a chef. Sought after by New York aristocracy, and with an independence rare for a woman of the time, she seemed to have achieved the life she’d aimed for when she arrived in Castle Garden. Then one determined “medical engineer” noticed that she left a trail of disease wherever she cooked, and identified her as an “asymptomatic carrier” of Typhoid Fever. With this seemingly preposterous theory, he made Mallon a hunted woman.

The Department of Health sent Mallon to North Brother Island, where she was kept in isolation from 1907 to 1910, then released under the condition that she never work as a cook again. Yet for Mary—proud of her former status and passionate about cooking—the alternatives were abhorrent. She defied the edict.

Bringing early-twentieth-century New York alive—the neighborhoods, the bars, the park carved out of upper Manhattan, the boat traffic, the mansions and sweatshops and emerging skyscrapers—Fever is an ambitious retelling of a forgotten life. In the imagination of Mary Beth Keane, Mary Mallon becomes a fiercely compelling, dramatic, vexing, sympathetic, uncompromising, and unforgettable heroine.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Fever is a gripping, morally provocative story of love and survival that will take you by surprise at every turn. It is also a radiant portrait of a uniquely indomitable woman and of a uniquely tumultuous time in the history of our country. Bravely and brilliantly, Keane has brought to life the intimate human tragedy obscured by the scornful cliché ‘Typhoid Mary’; you will never utter those words again without remembering, and mourning, the real Mary Mallon.” Julia Glass, New York Times bestselling author
Fever manages to rescue a demonized woman from history and humanize her brilliantly. Mary Beth Keane brings to light a moving love story behind the headlines, and she carries the reader forward with such efficiency you will hardly notice how graceful are her sentences and how entwined you have become with this fascinating, heart-breaking story.” Billy Collins, New York Times bestselling author and former poet laureate of the United States
“Like the silent carrier who is its heroine, this novel is so quietly assured that you won’t suspect it capable of transmitting such violence. It will seize you with its breathtaking intensity, its authority, and its beating heart.” Eleanor Henderson, New York Times bestselling author
“As historical fiction, Fever seldom disappoints in capturing the squalid new world where love exists in a battlefield both biological and epochal.” Publishers Weekly
“A memorable biofiction that turns a malign figure of legend into a perplexing, compelling survivor.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

by Chrissie 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

What was Typoid Mary thinking and feeling?!

The start is superb! Candace Thaxton does the narration of the audiobook. Her tone perfectly expresses how Typhoid Mary views what is happening to her, both the amazement and incredulity of that which she is accused of and horror as loved ones die. Could she be the cause of others' deaths when she is so healthy herself?!

And now, on completion, I have to say that I enjoyed every minute spent listening. I loved Mary's Irish brogue and the details of life in NYC at the turn of the century - even the Titanic and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire on March 25, 1911 are thrown in.

This is a book of historical fiction. If all books of historical fiction were this good I would lap them up, but unfortunately that fails to be the case. To me people are intriguing. What makes one person behave as they do and another completely differently? Math is so simple, follow the rules and you get the right answer, but people, they are a conundrum. I want historical fiction to go inside the minds of the main characters so I understand what makes each one of them tick. I want to see the world through their eyes, knowing full well that some guesses are being made. I want to understand their thoughts and emotions. I want the author to convince me of what their thorough study of the known facts has led them to believe. This is what I want from historical fiction. Do you want the same? If you want to understand what Typhoid Mary could have been thinking and what she could have been feeling, read this book. The author's conclusions could be wrong, but I am convinced.

If you just want the known facts about Mary Mallon go to Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoid_Mary

So why did I remove one star? Well, I am picky; I wish the author had added an author's note clearly stating what fictitious elements she added to the known facts. Was there really an Albert, the love of her life? I am very glad that he was written into the novel because their love relationship felt so real. He must have existed! I hope he existed for Mary Mallon. Their relationship was complicated. The book just would not have drawn my attention as much as it did had he not been there. I need to know ; was Albert real?!
by Chelsea 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

An enjoyable history lesson.

I enjoyed this book, I know it was fiction but I learned a lot about typhoid itself. Mary had a very sad life although she did bring a lot of it on herself. I did like the information about drug use in the early 1900s also.
The narrator was a pleasure to listen to also.
by Lauren M 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Inexplicably Riveting

I'm a fan of historical fiction...but usually pick titles with a little more action, so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Fever.

Typhoid Mary wasn't a historical figure I knew much about, but the narrator brought her to life in a way that made me want to hear more from and about the strong, fiery Irish woman.

You're left alternately rooting for Mary and shaking your head at her choices that unwittingly spread diseases to so many, but in both cases her character's thoughts, insights and relationships as she struggles to survive an incredibly difficult time to be a working class American, are engrossing. Maybe not an exciting read, but definitely an interesting one.

Author

Author Bio: Mary Beth Keane

Author Bio: Mary Beth Keane

Mary Beth Keane was born in New York City to Irish parents and grew up in Rockland County, New York. She attended Barnard College and the University of Virginia, where she received an MFA in fiction. In 2011 she was named by Julia Glass to the National Book Foundation’s “5 under 35.” She is also the winner of the Chicago Tribune’sNelson Algren Prize and was a Pushcart Prize nominee. She lives in Pearl River, New York, with her husband and their two sons.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Fiction
Runtime: 9.90
Audience: Adult
Language: English