Sunday, November 28, 2010

Review: Contagion by Joanne Dahme

This is a guest review from my friend Katie.

Set in the late 19th century, Rose Dugan is a young wife who is actively involved in her community. But when her best friend is killed while working at Philadelphia’s Water Works' gardens, the mystery around her death pulls Rose in. Will she save the city from a deadly typhoid outbreak that is threatening the city’s water system? Will Rose unravel the mystery behind her best friend’s murder—a fate that was actually meant for her? 

Warning: This book alternates between two first-person perspectives. So if that really bugs you then be aware and don’t say that I didn’t warn you. I’m not really one who finds it annoying to read a book with alternating perspectives. They can be awesome if done well. That being said this book had a few glitches on that front. One of the perspectives is female and the other is male. The chapters told from Rose’s perspective work well. The ones from Sean’s perspective were a little harder to adjust to. A woman is trying to write what goes on in a man’s head and is obviously having a hard time doing it. But Sean’s chapters get better as you go along so give it a chance.
Another negative thing about this book is that it sort of drags in places. The plot itself does not drag but the amount of detail given slows the book down. I felt that I got too much detail about buildings, places, and other things that were not really important. I know that the author did all of this research to make her book historically accurate and the use of all of these detailed descriptions is her making that work worthwhile. Unfortunately it would have been better to provide less description about some things because it would have made the book better overall. The reader would have been able to focus more on the interesting plot instead what City Hall looked like.
Well there’s a heaping helping of negativity. Anyway you may be surprised because I think that this was a pretty awesome book. It has a great plot full of twists and turns. It is sort of like a really interesting history lesson mixed with a mystery that keeps you guessing. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out something else happens that puts you right back where you started and leaves you more confused than ever. Your desire to figure out what is really happening gets you past the slow parts. This is a great book so if you have the opportunity to read it do so.

My Disclaimer:
This book is historical fiction. There is no vampire or zombie or werewolf or fairy or witch or wizard or dragon or well you get it. So if you require every book you read to have one or more of those things this is not the book for you. Again if that bothers you choose another book.

If you like Ann Rinaldi or really any historical fiction you’ll like this book.
Maybe even books like A Great and Terrible Beauty but without all of the supernatural stuff.

I give it a 4/5.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! It looks like a pretty good book.




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