by Mary Beth Keane


Paperback, 306 pages, Simon & Schuster, List Price: $16 | purchase


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NPR Summary

Inspired by the woman known as Typhoid Mary, Fever traces the efforts of a headstrong Irish immigrant whose tenacity and talent for cooking gains her entry into upper-class kitchens. Then one day, the discovery that she's a disease carrier forces her into an isolation that she eventually defies with horrific results.

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2013

Fact Behind The Fiction: 5 Great Historicals For Summer

Reading this novel, I found myself transfixed by a story I'd only heard snatches of before. At the turn of the 20th century, Typhoid Mary was an iconic figure. In this wonderful treatment of a life, Mary Mallon, a self-trained cook, becomes trapped in a snare of innuendo when members of the families she has prepared food for begin to die. Typhoid, a bacterially transmitted, fast-killing disease, is running rampant. A theory develops regarding "asymptomatic" carriers of the disease. One

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