Sunday, March 31, 2013

Breathing Room by Marsha Hayles

Historical fiction: check.
Multigenre: check.
Engaging story: check.
Out of the ordinary: check.
Realistic: check.
Amazing autobiographical connections by the author that totally make me want to know more about her and her life growing up with a doctor for a dad who worked for Mayo Clinic: check plus.

Breathing Room is a keeper. I really enjoyed the quiet and calm energy of this story, if you can believe such a life threatening situation could be framed in a quiet voice. A teen girl who has TB moves into a sanatorium to rest and recuperate. While there for what must be a long time, she creates relationships with a number of girls and the medical staff that treat them, much to the thwarted efforts and surprise of the staff. A common practice in the '40's and '50's, these institutions are literally absent in our lives now having disappeared rapidly with the discovery of antibiotics and the disease being more controlled. The author offers plenty of history around the operations of a sanatorium: her father worked at the Mayo Clinic in the '40's. In a special section, she includes historical photos and brief stories that help readers link the author with the story. Find this gem if you are looking for some US historical fiction framed around medical issues and WW II.

No comments:

Post a Comment