Thursday, March 18, 2021

The Vines by Shelley Nolden


The setting is North Brother Island in New York.  This place actually exists and you find some interesting information online about the medical facility there as well as info about Mary Mallon, aka Typhoid Mary.  The author incorporated Mary Mallon in as a character who is quarantined at the facility due to her perceived illness.  She interacts with our main character Cora. 



 
The story involves generations of doctors in the Gettler family and spans over a 100 year period. There is more of a horror element to the experimentation the doctors perform on Cora and through it all, Cora lives alone on this island for decades. Cora's blood has qualities which make her immune to disease. Medical ethics are certainly in question here.

The back and forth chapters in the different timeframes was confusing at first.  The book starts with Finn Gettler sneaking onto the island and seeing Cora.  He is well aware of his father and grandfather's medical research but he doesn't know of the heinous experiments performed on this woman. There are surprises about Finn's family and while I did finish the book, there were some times I almost made it a DNF and moved on.

If you are engaged with the story then you'll be pleased to know there will be a followup book.  I personally won't be looking to continue the storyline.  

Publication date is March 23, 2021 by Freiling Publishing. Genre: historical fiction; mystery; thriller

Much thanks to Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book. I was not compensated for the review and all opinions expressed here are mine.

Sharing with Marg at The Intrepid Reader for the 2021 Historical Fiction Reading challenge. 



8 comments:

  1. Sorry you didn't enjoy the book more.

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    1. Vicki, maybe it was just the wrong time to read this one.

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  2. Oh... but... Typhoid Mary wasn't sick, she was just a carrier who got everyone else sick. She was quarantined, but she was never sick with Typhoid.

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    1. Davida, thanks for the feedback. It was a perceived illness but true enough, she was a carrier. Interesting book spanning 100 years.

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  3. I think I'll pass on this one. My grandmother always used to call us Typhoid Mary whenever we were sick and around her so I actually have read up quite a bit about her. It's a crazy story! However, I think this book leans a little too far into the horror genre for me.

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    1. Katherine, I didn't know about the more unsavory elements of this book when I requested it from Netgalley. :-(

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  4. I was curious about this one, the premise seems to have potential but it seems the story doesn’t live up to it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts

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    1. Shelleyrae, the author is a good writer but the plot didn't do it for me.

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