By Gennifer Choldenko
Expected publication August 4, 2015 by Wendy Lamb Books
Lizzie isn't interested in the things befitting a typical young lady of 1900 San Francisco. She lives for the times she gets to accompany her physician father on his house calls. It's on one of these visits that Lizzie discovers a side of the city she never knew about - a side that might be infected with the plague. Now, Lizzie must do everything she can to help the people she loves - before it's too late.
I was pretty excited to see a new book from Choldenko - I enjoyed her Alcatraz series and was interested in seeing what she could do with a new set of characters.
I haven't felt terribly excited about most of what I've read lately, but I did like this book quite a bit. I mean, there isn't much in it that I wouldn't like - historical fiction, inquisitive female character, deadly plague. Those are all things I enjoy in stories. It isn't my favorite book of the year, but I enjoyed it, and I'll definitely be happy to recommend it to readers looking for historical fiction.
Once again, the attention to details is excellent - it's obvious that Choldenko does her research before she sets down to write a story. She hasn't strayed terribly far from the Alcatraz setting of her most-famous books, but she does a great job setting the scene, so I don't really see the need for it. Choldenko has picked a little-known but extremely fascinating bit of history and built her story around it and it's definitely a success. The story is compelling (the deadly plague bit helps) and, like most good historical fiction, will get readers interested in learning the facts behind the fiction. There are some sad parts of the story - much of it revolves around the blatant racism common of the times, and there is also a character death - but they're handled well and feel natural to the story.
Thanks to the publisher for a digital advance reader's copy, provided via Edelweiss.