Mattie, a high spirited and independent 18th century teen is not about to let yellow fever get in her way, but things change when her mother contracts the disease. Mattie is forced from her family’s beloved Philadelphia coffee house to ride out the epidemic in the country. Before she and her grandfather can reach their safe haven, the disease afflicts her as well. The story follows Mattie’s convalescence, and her eventual return back to Philadelphia.
I love historical fiction, and think it’s great when an author takes an historic event and makes it a grand story with lively characters and authentic period details. This story is well written, but it happens to be especially dramatic – though Mattie survives the epidemic, she experiences terrible losses of loved ones, falls prey to looters, and suffers what seems as constant turmoil. She does read her bible for comfort, and never does let the atrocities of her experience consume her entirely. Fever is a story of survival and how one girl managed to beat the odds, but sensitive or squeamish beware – as this is a story about the yellow fever epidemic, it does contain all the particulars of this awful disease, and the disastrous consequences.